Lesson Plan

Close Reading: Introduction

Help your students absorb the details of a text and make inferences about what they read with the strategy of close reading. By reading closely, students will become better able to understand complex themes and nuances in a text.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Close Reading Strategy pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Close Reading Strategy pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to understand that close reading is a strategy that helps them read with a focus in order to deepen comprehension.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(2 minutes)
Sugar and Spice
  • Begin by telling the class that today, they will be learning about close reading.
  • Activate prior knowledge by asking students to think of a time they were doing something they did frequently, but weren’t really paying attention. For example, ask them to imagine they are riding in a car with other people.
    • What are those people doing?
    • Are they playing on their phones, watching television, or falling asleep?
  • Explain that when people don’t pay attention to the details around them, they often miss out on small things. For example, if people in the car paid attention to scenery around them, they’d learn things about their destination, the road, and the world around them.
  • Tell students that finding enjoyment in everyday things often comes from looking at the details, and this applies to reading.
  • Explain that when the best readers read, they don’t do it on autopilot. Instead, they read carefully and absorb all of the small details that the author has to offer. These readers are close readers.
  • Share that, by becoming close readers, they’ll be able to pay attention to details in the book, and pick up as much information as possible from the text.


  • Ask learners to draw a picture of something they do frequently without paying much attention. Have them label the important parts of the image.
  • Allow ELs to recount their memory in pairs using either their home language (L1) or their new language (L2).


  • Have students discuss with a partner something they do frequently without paying much attention before sharing with the whole group.
  • Define the following terms by giving student-friendly definitions and images, when possible: frequently, pay attention.

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