Lesson plan

Reading Closely

Young readers will love this story-filled reading comprehension lesson. It's packed with engaging exercises designed to help students become better at looking for details and annotating passages of text.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Main Idea and Supporting Evidence pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Main Idea and Supporting Evidence pre-lesson.
  • Students will be able to answer questions about short passages using textual evidence.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the lesson by telling students that today, they will be working on reading a short piece of text and taking it apart to look at the deeper meaning of the text. By doing this, they will become stronger readers and find it easier to answer questions about different stories.
  • Let the class know that they will be reading a text several times and discussing it with a partner.
(15 minutes)
  • Introduce to your students the annotation symbols they will use during their close reading. Refer to the Close Reading Annotations chart to discuss the symbols with your students.
  • Demonstrate the different annotation techniques using the Cat that Walked by Himself worksheet. Use the document camera to display your actions as you make a few annotations on the passage. Explain your mark-ups as you go.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out copies of the Reading Comprehension: The Kitten worksheet.
  • Read the passage out loud with the class; do not use the annotation symbols yet.
  • Ask for a student volunteer to cite a main idea and circle it.
  • As a group, try one or two more annotations.
  • Explain to students that they will be reading the text several times. This is their first reading.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the highlighters and Close Reading Annotations bookmarks.
  • Have students complete the annotations for the Kitten worksheet independently. Remind them to highlight important lines and use the bookmark if they can't remember certain annotations.
  • Once students have finished, they can work with a partner or in a small group to discuss their annotated notes and compare through discussion.
  • Tell the students they will be reading the text again. The students can decide how they would like to re-read the text within their groups.
  • Walk around and monitor groups' discussions. Check whether students are comfortable using the annotation strategy and whether group discussions are meaningful.
  • Encourage students to interpret and reference the text as they discuss.


  • Challenge higher level readers to use the Wonderful Wizard of Oz worksheet for their annotation activity.
  • During the Assessment section, have students answer the questions from this worksheet and/or the Cat that Walked by Himself worksheet instead of the questions from the Kitten worksheet.


  • Place struggling students into small groups, and give those groups hints as they work. During Independent Working Time, these students may work in pairs.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students answer the question at the bottom of the Kitten worksheet. Remind them to support their answer with evidence from the text.
  • Collect the worksheets once students are done, and review them later to assess students' mastery of the close reading strategy.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask for questions regarding the strategy and discuss the answers as a whole group.

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