The objective of this themed Focusing In: Close Reading & Annotating Reading Skills Lesson Pack teaching pack is to foster students' beginning or basic understanding of how to close read and annotate a text. My belief is that if we want students to really be successful with something - especially something as abstract as close reading and annotating - we must offer them a process, models, and opportunity to practice the actual skill.
I love photography, so I came up with these steps in this "photography" themed lesson to help my students be able to work through this abstract process more easily. Students will walk through the notes, models, examples, guided practice, and then apply the simple steps to modern music exemplars with a focus on figurative language.
Each of my ELA skills "How to Teach It" Lesson Packs includes a teacher's guide lesson plan, an easy-to-use PPT lecture explaining the concept, guided practice, opportunity for collaborative and individual practice, and a form of assessment. Download the preview file for what's included!
- PPT for teaching (editable PPT and PDF)
- Student Notes for any text (editable Word)
- Classroom Poster (PDF and JPEG)
- Popular Songs for Guided Practice
- Suggested Answers and Annotations from my classroom
Classroom success stories from teachers who have tried this resource:
♥ "Wow...I have spent the last week implementing your plan with my 6th - 8th grade students. What an incredible unit. From the beginning, the lesson guides the students from surface level comprehension to deep understanding. The first 4 opening questions provide a perfect example of the journey to deeper understanding. The summarizing portion teaches a compact yet comprehensive method to stop and monitor understanding. It also provides the students with a practical method of summarizing text in any situation. We actually practiced writing a 4-5 sentence written summary just for fun! Today, my 8th graders and I worked through "A Dream Deferred." It actually gave me chills to stand back and watch their understanding deepen as we discussed the figurative language in the poem. I added a written response at the end of the lesson and asked them why the author chose to include those images. They pondered and responded with the idea that he wanted his audience to experience the pain and frustration of a lost dream. Their written responses are some of the best they have ever produced for me in the three years I have taught them. I can't wait to continue using this method for the remainder of the year. Thank you for sharing your work!"
♥"As my students are frequent to say: "Shut the front door!" I love this product. I have been a fan of close reading all of my life, from a hundred years ago in high school, to slightly less than a century in college. Finally, close reading is emphasized for all content areas! Hurrah! Again, I am a loyal fan. I look forward to more products for my ninth graders."
♥" Directions were easy to follow and activities were engaging and well scaffolded for all types of learners."
Expand your lesson with more in depth summarizing practice so your students can make the most of their reading experience. My Close Reading and Summarizing Power Pack is a great tool, and it's cost effective! It's Just a Click Away!
You may already have some text-based lessons that you use, but if you are looking for some new ones, see my full catalog of nonfiction texts excellent for close reading!
See my other English standards teaching packs while you’re here, too, and teach the fundamental skills first for success!
Citing Textual Evidence
Evaluate Credibility of Websites
Propaganda and Logical Fallacies
Setting Affects Plot
Conflict Affects Plot
Homophones, Frequently Confused Words
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For more ideas and inspiration:
Faulkner's Fast Five Blog
Julie Faulkner Photography on Instagram
Julie's Classroom Stories on Facebook
Teaching Tidbits Newsletter with Email-Only Freebies
Original Cover Photography by Julie Faulkner Photography