Creating close reading lessons

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  • 1. EBC and Beyond: Creating Effective Close Reading Lessons Implementing the CCSS with Fidelity
  • 2. Purpose of this Session Participants will be able to Identify effective close reading instruction in the EBC units of instruction. Explain and avoid common mistakes in the development of close reading sequences or lessons. Write sequences of close reading questions aligned to the CCSS.
  • 3. Lenses: Teachers What does it take to create powerful close reading lessons? What defines a good sequence of close reading questions? How can I scaffold my students to discover key ideas of complex texts?
  • 4. Lenses: NTI Members/Coaches How can I show teachers the kind of thinking about text theyll need in order to do this? How can I help teachers improve their close reading instruction? Where will teachers need the most support? What are the critical messages teachers need to hear?
  • 5. Lenses: Principals/Leaders What should good close reading questions look like? How will I know if a teacher has created Common Core aligned close reading instruction? What are the structures I need to put in place to ensure teachers can do the kind of thinking this requires? What do I need to do to meet teachers where they are and lead them to powerful CCSS alignment in their close reading instruction?
  • 6. Finishing Macomber Individually, please finish The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. As you read, annotate the text where you see evidence of the following- Something that suggests a key idea or understanding in the text A literary technique that is significant Challenging passages Vocabulary that could be defined by reading closely
  • 7. Practice: Talk about Text At your table, talk about the second half of the text. What are some of the key understandings (large or small) you think students should get? Feel free to consult the unit materials, especially the instructional notes. The big questions on page 29 of the unit materials are a great starting point for your conversation.
  • 8. What are Good Close Reading Questions? Read A Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions for Close Analytic Reading in your packet. As you read, be aware of what stands out to you, including: Messages your colleagues need to hear. Great tips or suggestions. Key ideas or points. When youre finished, underline an important sentence or phrase youd like to discuss.
  • 9. Discuss Using the phrases you underlined, discuss this short paper. As you talk, please consider these questions as well: What do good text-dependent questions do? Why is building teachers capacity to write these types of questions (and to write them well) important? Why is a series of questions important?
  • 10. Common Mistakes in Developing TDQs Background knowledge questions Hunt and peck Scavenger hunt Universal truth According to the text Too many one-offs
  • 11. Developing TDQs: Do Less/Do More Do Less Do More What does Hemingway mean by disruption? What makes Macomber and his wife one of those couples whose disruption is often rumored but never occurs? What types of adjectives describe Margot in this section? Why does Wilson refer to American women as predatory and cruel?
  • 12. Developing TDQs: Do Less/Do More Do Less Do More What animal does Macomber say he acted like? Whats the difference between how the lion reacts to being shot and how Macomber acts after he shoots it? Shame and fear drive the actions of every character in this story. Describe how shame and fear affect Mr. Wilson. Why does Robert Wilson feel as if had opened the wrong door in a hotel and seen something shameful?
  • 13. Sample Sequence Read the sequence of questions. In pairs, using these questions, discuss this section of the text, paying attention to how much information you can glean from the text with these questions.
  • 14. Talk about it! How might this sequence of questions help guide students to an understanding of the opening scene in the story and draw students attention to Hemingway's use of "in medias res?" How could it be used to begin to address R.3?
  • 15. Break!
  • 16. Practice In pairs, identify a short, challenging section of the text that seems significant in terms of the key understandings and ideas it contains. Discuss this section and clarify what youd like students to understand here. Draft a series of questions about your chosen section of the text, focusing on how they can be sequenced to lead students to that understanding.
  • 17. Tips Dont try to teach the whole text. Don't worry about writing perfect questions first. Head em off at the pass questions are okay. Focus on small sections, go deep.
  • 18. The Task: Reminder Identify a significant/challenging section of text Discuss and determine what youre shooting for. Draft a series of questions about that section focusing on how they can be sequenced to lead students to that understanding. You will have 50 minutes to work on this. Your task is to bring your question sequence back to your tables for review.
  • 19. Review In teams, test out your questions with another pair. Try to see if you can answer the questions with background knowledge, see if they are as clear as they can be, and review them against the Liben text. If there is a question that does not pass muster, chew on it with your team and see if you can make it stronger.
  • 20. Reflection How did you ultimately come to the series of questions you developed? What was your thinking process? Did they "come right out?" What is challenging about developing these sets of questions? What kind of structures need to be in place so that teachers can learn to do this effectively?
  • 21. Online Parking Lot Please go to and select Online Parking Lot for any NYSED related questions.
  • 22. Pulse Check Please go to and fill out the online plus-delta . Thank You!