Lesson Plan

Close Reading: Reading Through Character Emotion

Close reading isn’t about just ticking through words on a page; it’s about absorbing ideas and expanding on them. In this lesson, students will use this strategy to make interpretations about a character's emotions through their actions.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Character Actions and Emotions pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Character Actions and Emotions pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use close reading strategies to read a text and use character emotions to develop a theory about the character.

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


(5 minutes)
  • As a class, review what the students have learned about close reading. If this is an introduction to the concept, start by defining the term close reading.
  • Ask students how they would define close reading. Allow different students to explain in their own words what close reading is.
  • Once students have answered, explain that close reading is reading through a "lens" to focus on one aspect of the book. For example, during the last lesson, the class read through the lens of emotion.
  • Explain that reading through a lens helps students better understand and analyze different texts.
  • Tell the class that today, they will be reading through a lens of character emotions. Activate prior knowledge with discussion questions, such as: "What do character emotions refer to?"


  • Allows ELs to participate in the conversations in their home language (L1) or their new language (L2) and provide a word bank of terms they could choose to use in the discussions.
  • Ask them to reword the definition and key ideas behind close reading.


  • Allow students to use a sentence stem when sharing their ideas about close reading and characters' emotions.
  • Allow ELs to role-play some emotions that they've seen in other texts.