During March and April, we focused on practicing close reading. Some people would say that close reading is just a new way of saying ‘careful reading.’ We use close reading when text is difficult, confusing, or when it is important that we don’t miss any details. We might use close reading when we come to a chapter in a novel that is confusing. We might use it on a test, or on a tough math problem.
Of course, we don’t have to use close reading every time we read. We usually don’t need it when reading Facebook status updates or a book that is easy, fast and fun to read. But when we do use close reading, it can sure make a difference.
Here is the close reading routine we used. It only has three steps:
…for the flow and the big idea.
THINK and PLAN
….What do you need to know?
….What is your purpose for reading?
RE-READ with a PURPOSE
…. and think again!
Think about a time or two during the past few weeks when you decided to use close reading and a time when you didn’t. What was the difference? Post your thinking in the comments below.
(Here’s my example: I definitely used close reading when I was buying a ticket home for the summer break. It was very important I didn’t get the dates or cities wrong, or I would miss seeing my family! I also used close reading on a long magazine article about the Indian elections. I was interested, but a little confused, because I don’t know about all the smaller political parties here. I had to read several parts twice to find the answer to questions I had. However, most of the time, I don’t use close reading when I read my daily paper. I can understand most of the stories the first time I read them.)