Oh, the Journeys We Will Take through Close Reading Fiction

Elizabeth Smiley, Language Arts, Torrence Creek Elementary School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


Close reading is the practice of reading a text multiple times to dig deeper into the text and to find the different layers of meaning. Close reading analyzes the author’s craft by asking the reader to pay close attention to vocabulary, sentence structure, and sometimes, illustrations. The curriculum unit explores close reading using three books by Kate DiCamillo. The students will learn how to close read through a variety of activities. These activities include playing with vocabulary and its affect on the meaning of a sentence, participating in a reader’s theater, making trading cards for characters, and creating a life-size interpretation of the book for other students to journey through and experience. These activities are intended to encourage and reinforce skills that will help students better comprehend what they read by having students read certain texts and passages more than once.