Let’s face it, close reading isn’t often a skill that comes naturally. When our students get a new reading assignment, their first instinct is often to race to the finish line rather than engage deeply with a text.
Getting students to slow down, engage with the text in different ways, and reflect as they read are challenges for every teacher, and are the goals of close reading. They’re also at the heart of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. There’s no magic way to turn your class into top-notch readers overnight, but there are specific close reading skills you can teach that will help your students now and down the line.
This Close Reading includes a Primary Resource excerpt from Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" Speech, January 8th, 1918. It breaks down the vocab used and gives teacher lead questions, student creation of questions, as well as a summary. We all know that it’s not enough to just understand what a text says. Close readers not only grasp an author’s message, but they also take a look under the hood, so to speak.