Close Reading Strategies, Techniques, & Tips: A Practical Guide for High School
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Tired of useless close reading handouts that do nothing more than teach your students to hate literary analysis?
Simply instructing your classes to go through a checklist or point out literary elements doesn’t teach them any skills. In fact, if you teach the wrong kind of close reading lesson, you’ll discourage critical thinking and teach students that reading great literature is just about ticking off lists of literary devices. That kind of disempowering instruction creates a generation of passive learners who blindly believe that the teacher has all of the answers.
Honed over 16 years of teaching high school English, including AP literature, this guide is different from all of the other close reading handouts because it explains the process in a way that actually makes sense to students—and teachers. The explanations and handouts included in this resource will help you and your classes make sense of the close reading process so that your students will be able to take the lessons learned and apply them to any text.
Beyond teaching them to unpack and analyze, however, teaching them to read closely will teach them so much more. When you teach your students how to complete a close reading of a literary passage using this guide you will will:
- Give your classes the skills and confidence they need to understand and explain a literary passage on a standardized test with little guidance or context.
- Help your students to realize why it is essential to examine evidence before formulating ideas when they see how much better their ideas are when they follow this process.
- Get your classes to appreciate how great writing is created by hard work and revision when they examine the intentional choices that writers make in creating meaning.
- Help your students become less passive and more proactive in their own educations when they realize that they can find the answers independently.
After explaining the process to thousands of students, I have figured out how you can explain close reading in a way that makes sense to your students and gets them excited about analyzing literature. This close reading guide will empower your students to read a challenging text independently.
"I think that this guide will help my students to slow down and fully appreciate the details and subtle meanings in passages, as well as fully comprehend the bigger picture.”— Sheila H.
“I've been looking for a resource to explain close reading to my students. This is it. Thank you!”—Kristi M.