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Friday, May 10, 2013

5 Tips For Teaching Close Reading for All Students (Especially English Language Learners)

With national standards sweeping the United States, teachers will be in the position of having to address the key reading skills their students will require to ensure success with more demanding reading materials in every content area subject and at every grade level. English language learners will be facing far more challenging academic tasks than in the past and teachers will require creative instructional approaches to support them in completing such activities.

Here are 5 tips for teaching close reading.  First of all, "text" covers a wide range of reading materials.  Think of newspapers, magazines, historical documents, science articles as well as text, paintings, photographs (create a pinterest account so that a wealth of incredibly varied photographs will be available with a click---I just started a free account under DENISE STEWART-TOOLS FOR TEACHERS and intend to use many of the items I have "pinned" in class next year).  Allow students to analyze items of interest to them with partners or small groups.  Within such settings, ELLs will have built in support in gathering meaning from the text in ways accessible to to them.

Make sure that the ELA standard being covered aligns with the reading material.   For example, if analysis is required, find material that addresses that standard.  If comparison contrast is the standard, find an historical figure and have students look at two speeches over a period of time on the same topic.  Have students look at the change of view and support it.

One great point here is to not forget to bring fun into the process.  The article mentions having students study an email from a friend and look for, say, nuances.  I like to bring in editorials of interest to them and have them consider additions to the editorial.  By the same token, students in teams could pose a fun counter-argument. 

Here is the infographic:)

Denise

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