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Close Reading and Annotation Mini-Unit

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education
Formats Included
  • Zip
25 pages
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Complete close reading and annotation unit with fiction and nonfiction practice

**August 2020 Update: This unit is now digital! I created a fiction and nonfiction workbook that is optimized for digital learning. A Google Slides version is included that can be downloaded and used as a PowerPoint as well (directions included).

**August 2019 Update: This unit now includes two passages that can be used for nonfiction annotation (complete with an answer key). This is perfect for AP Language and Composition as well as any nonfiction annotation practice.

Close reading is a lifelong skill, not a strategy. That can make it very challenging to teach. Thankfully, there are strategies we can use to improve students’ close reading skills. After years of research, I created this close reading and annotation mini-unit to teach students to apply their natural reading strategies for academic purposes. No more mindless highlighting, circling, and underlining!

This mini-unit will teach students to focus their close reading and annotate with purpose making their reading efficient and effective! It will take approximately 3 to 4 45-minute periods to complete. A suggested lesson guided is included.

This resource includes:

  • "Think About Your Habits" Activity
  • Conversation Starter Cards
  • "Understand Close Reading" Activity
  • "Identify the Purpose" Activity
  • Reading Scenario Task Cards
  • Find Your Active Reading Format Activity
  • Reading Journal Example
  • Annotated Poem Example
  • Annotated Essay Example
  • Annotated Speech Example
  • Real-world connections
  • Print in gray scale or color
  • Close Reading Assignment Assessment*
  • Editable PowerPoint assessment rubric
  • Suggested answer key
  • Teacher guide

*Please note the assessment rubric is the only editable component of this mini-unit.

You may also like my Scholarly Research Unit and my TALK to the Text Guided Annotation Bookmarks.

Total Pages
25 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.


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