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TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Window or Mirror?

This task helps students consider if the text is a window or a mirror through practicing literacy skills and using technology. Students will decide if author, speaker, characters or content in a text reflect students’ lived experiences (mirror) or provide a window into the lived experiences of people whose identities differ from the students’.
Grade Level
CCSS
RL.6-12.1, RL.6-12.2, RL.6-12.3, RL.6-12.7, RI.6-12.1, RI.6-12.2, RI.6-12.3, RI.6-12.7
TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Reading Against the Grain

In reading against the grain students analyze the dominant reading of a text and engage in alternative or "resistant" readings. Resistant readings scrutinize the beliefs and attitudes that typically go unexamined in a text, drawing attention to the gaps, silences and contradictions.
Grade Level
CCSS
RL.6-12.1, RL.6-12.2, RL.6-12.6, RI.6-12.1, RI.6-12.2, RI.6-12.6
TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Text Graffiti

This strategy exposes students to multiple short pieces of a text before they read it in its entirety. Students read selected quotes out of context and comment on both the selection and the comments of other students. The activity ends with students reflecting on their reactions to and predictions about the text.
Grade Level
CCSS
RL.6-12.1, RI.6-12.1
TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Challenge the Text

Challenge the Text helps students ask and answer their own text-dependent questions by taking multiple perspectives and uncovering assumptions and biases within the text.
Grade Level
CCSS
RL.6-12.1, RL.6-12.2, RL.6-12.3, RL.6-12.6, RI.6-12.1, RI.6-12.2, RI.6-12.3, RI.6-12.6
TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Shared Reading

Shared reading combines aspects of guided reading and read-aloud strategies. During shared reading, a teacher or proficient student reads the text aloud, pausing at pre-selected moments to discuss content and analyze the text. This strategy facilitates close reading of a complex text in small or whole group settings.
Grade Level
CCSS
RL.6-12.1, RI.6-12.1
TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Thinking Notes

Thinking notes are text annotations (highlights, underlines or symbols made on the text or in the margins) that document student thinking during reading. Depending on how you structure the task, these notes can indicate agreement, objection, confusion or other relevant reactions to the text.
Grade Level
TEACHING STRATEGY
Close and Critical Reading

Text-Dependent Questions

Readers must refer back to the central text to answer text-dependent questions and provide evidence from the reading to support their answers. Students provide accurate, relevant and complete evidence. To do this well, students will often need to re-read the text several times. This approach privileges the text over prior knowledge, personal experience and pre-reading activities.
Grade Level
CCSS
RL.6-12.1, RL.6-12.2, RL.6-12.4, RL.6-12.5, RL.6-12.6, RI.6-12.1, RI.6-12.2, RI.6-12.3, RI.6-12.4, RI.6-12.6
TEACHING STRATEGY
Word Work

Vocabulary Prediction Chart

Students predict the meanings of vocabulary words before reading and confirm the accuracy of their predictions during and after reading. Students identify context clues from the text and revise their definitions accordingly.
Grade Level
CCSS
L.6-12.4, L.6-12.6
TEACHING STRATEGY
Word Work

Traits Matrix

In this semantic feature analysis strategy, students use a grid to show how vocabulary words relate to one another and to conceptual frameworks (e.g., masculine versus feminine).
Grade Level
CCSS
L.6-12.4, L.6-12.5, L.6-12.6
TEACHING STRATEGY
Word Work

Vocabulary Tableaux

A tableau is a representation of a scene or picture by people posing silently without moving. In a vocabulary tableau, a group of students use their bodies to create a frozen picture of a vocabulary word.
Grade Level
CCSS
L.6-12.4, L.6-12.6