Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8
Keywords:Informational texts, assessment-driven instruction, close reading, reading comprehension
The role of close reading in the 21st century has become a necessary component of reading comprehension more than ever. Given the extraordinary amount of informational texts presented in print and digital formats that students encounter in today’s classrooms, the need for students to engage in critical reading to determine what a text says explicitly is essential for students to become critical consumers of information. In addition, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) place further emphasis on the importance of teaching students to engage in “close, attentive reading” as critical text analysis relates to 80% of the Reading standards at each grade level (International Reading Association Common Core State Standards [CCSS] Committee, 2012). Sunday Cummins’ (2013) Close Reading of Informational Texts; Assessment- Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8 offers teachers a wealth of tools to teach close reading wrapped in one book. According to Cummins, close reading is the process of understanding how the words on a page fit together to support the author’s central ideas. Students examine the text’s structure, key vocabulary to build conceptual meaning, and connect to their own prior knowledge to use the information and ideas drawn from texts as the basis to grasp meaning.