Before analyzing and investigating primary sources, students need to either connect to background knowledge or gain new background knowledge. A close read of a background article or textbook chapter is a way to begin.
The Close Read Process:
- Read the text out loud as students follow along.
- Students reread the text independently
Reading and Discussion Tools
- Guide discussion of parts of the text with a series of specific vocabulary and text-dependent questions and tasks
- Questions at the Word level
- Sentence level
- Structure level (what is the purpose of this paragraph?)
- Whole text level (what is the big idea?)
- Give students a choice of writing prompts to assess understanding or ask students to generate inquiry questions to stimulate short, focused research
Example of a 6th grade close read activity (Civil War)
Example of a 7th grade close read activity (Japanese Internment)
Example of a high school close read activity (Civil War)