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Close Reading in the Primary Classroom

We are very excited to be linking up with Laura Graham from

 Where the Magic Happens for our "Diggin In" Series Blog Hop!

 The beginning of the year often brings anxiety for many teachers no matter how long you have been teaching!   In the last few weeks of summer, we can't sleep... or when we do sleep we are dreaming about our classroom. 

Our WISH for you this school year is to help you

feel prepared for the new year. 

Typically during the STAFF days prior to our little learners arriving, we are bombarded with curriculum training.  All we usually are thinking about is... where is my reading area going to be set up, what theme am I decorating my room in this year, and why are the custodians still looking for my furniture ??  OMG - how am I going to set up my entire room in only a few days??  

WE are here to help ease your anxiety when it comes to


 What is a Close Read?
Last year our district focused on Close Reads as an integral part of our ELA program.  In my district, we have been encouraged to do a non-fiction close read once a month.  The New York State Education Department has encouraged us to use Close Reads as part of our ELA instruction as a means to dive deeper into the text to gain a richer understanding of its meaning.  The complexity of the text is a key component.  Students should be reading texts that are difficult for them during the initial read.  Vocabulary within the text should be challenging as well.  Students need to do multiple readings of the text to uncover a deeper understanding and gain richer meaning from it.  Non-fiction close reads have been at the forefront of the training that I have received.  This year, I am hoping to gain more knowledge about how to do a Close Read with a fictional story.  Once you understand the theory behind the Close Read and the format to do a Close Read, you will feel more
prepared to use them with your students. 
“Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension.”    Nancy Boyles,  Educational Leadership January 2013

A Close read is…
Has a defined purpose
Sees connections within text
Provides a reason to learn
Teaches students to dig deeper
A process to learning more
Close reading.. Is not a change to what you teach 
– just how you teach it.

Check out the Close Read steps that I follow to complete a Non-fiction
Close Read with my second grade students!   
What is the format for a Close Read?

 Our wish for you as you start the new school year is to help ease your anxiety by giving you the tools you need to do a Close Read in your classroom this September.  We hope you download our

If you like our Sharks and Whales Close Read, you can check out our Close Read Mega Bundle that has many more Close Reading activities for you to do with your students this year! 
 Each Close Read activity in the Mega Bundle has 1-2 non-fiction articles about animals, vocabulary development activities, comprehension activity sheets, assessment activities, and writing tasks that are challenging and enriching for 2nd - 3rd grade students.  There is also a craft activity to go along with each Close Read.  The craft activity kept all my early finishers busy!  
There are 7 complete Close Reads in this 170 page bundle.  The animals that the kids will learn about in this Mega Unit are:  Honeybees and Wasps, Bats, Polar Bears and Panda Bears, Groundhogs and Hedgehogs, Frogs and Toads, The Life Cycle of a Frog, and Sharks and Whales.  If you are interested you can check out this Close Read Unit in our store using the link below!

Be sure to check out the other great blogs from our 
Diggin In link up!



  1. Great information on close reading! I will definitely be bookmarking this site!

    1. Thank you so much - We are glad you liked our blog post! :)

  2. Thanks for the great information on close reads! I want to do more of this during this next school year!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  3. Thanks Sally! It is hard to find time to do everything, but Close Reads are so important now - we find that integrating the Science and Social studies curriculum into our Close Reads allows us to fit in some great instruction.. not just in ELA. We are currently working on some NEW Close read units you might like to help you this year! Thank you so much for stopping by our blog and leaving a comment!