Summary: New Learning Standards hold great promise to preparing students for reading at the college level. Literacy is a shared responsibility within the school. New standards require precise study of primary sources. This requires close reading in all subjects.
Brief Guide: Creating Questions for Close Reading
- Determine what the most important learning to be drawn from the text. This becomes the “raw material” for the culminating assignment and a focus point for other activities.
- Identify key ideas and/or concepts of the text. Create questions that are structured to bring the reader to an understanding of these ideas and concepts.
- Locate the powerful academic words. Design questions an discussions that help students explore the role of those words through the text. Consider other words that could enhance student understanding.
- Examine what standards are addressed in the question you design. Consider what (if any) other standards may be included and form questions to be included in the discussion.
- Find the sections of the text that will present the greatest difficulty and craft questions that support students in mastering those sections. These sections may have varying patterns of thought, difficult syntax, idea-dense material, or material that offers a variety of possible inferences.
- Develop a culminating activity around the learning identified in #1. The task should reflect mastery of one or more standards, involve writing, and be structured for students to do independently.
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