Close Reading

The goal of close reading is to enable students to deeply engage with high-quality, challenging texts so that they will achieve key goals of College and Career Ready Standards by being able to read, comprehend, and evaluate increasingly complex text independently. This Spotlight centers on the CSAI produced resource, Supporting Students in Close Reading. It also includes examples, multi-media tools, and further reading on the subject of close reading.

Supporting Students in Close Reading Title Page

Supporting Students in Close Reading

A CSAI-developed resource for teachers

This resource is one in a series produced by CSAI to assist teachers and those who support teachers to plan teaching and learning of College and Career Ready Standards for diverse learners. It guides teachers in a systematic planning process to engage students in close reading.   

Close Reading Text Selection Tool

Supporting Students in Close Reading: Selecting Text Tool

A worksheet for teachers

Text selection is an important step in planning for close reading. The Selecting Text Tool displayed here, also found in the close reading resource, guides teachers in the process of selecting texts that provide appropriate levels of challenge for their students. Factors to consider include: age appropriateness, student interest level, complexity of ideas, text and sentence structure, vocabulary difficulty, and length of text.

MLK Speech Close Reading Video

Video on Close Reading: Understanding the King—MLK Speech Analysis

Text Analysis Video, 5th Grade

This video from America Achieves showcases close reading in action. The lesson is aligned to College and Career Ready Standards and demonstrates the process of close reading as it portrays students engaging in substantive discourse and critical thinking.


Shanahan on Literacy

Timothy Shanahan Blog

This popular blog by well-respected professor Dr. Timothy Shanahan provides information for teachers and parents on teaching and assessing reading, writing, and literacy. It includes many easily accessible and practical articles on implementing close reading, including What is Close Reading?.


Achieve the Core title

Achieve the Core

Website with Close Reading Resources for Teachers

Achieve the Core has many resources to support teachers in implementing close reading lessons aligned to shifts in the new ELA standards. For example, the website includes model lessons, sample assessments, and a lesson-planning tool. The lesson-planning tool provides helpful information for teachers at each stage in the lesson-planning process to support professional learning about the new standards, the components of a close reading lesson, and how to support learners at various levels.