Activities which Encourage Close Reading
These activities are most effective when worked on by a pair or small group as the discussion if possibilities leads to a closer look at the text.
Filling the gap involves the reader in actively constructing meaning. Skills include:
- attending to the sense of the whole sentence by reading and rereading.
- working out what will fit with the style of the text - eg whether a word has already occurred in the sentence
- paying close attention to the meaning of the sentence
- choosing a word that fits grammatically.
- using one's existing knowledge of the topic
- working out what is likely from the rest of the text
Sequencing activities involve reconstructing a text which has been cut into chunks. Skills include:
- reading and rereading
- paying close attention to the structure of the genre
- paying close attention to link words
- hunting for the logic or organising principle of the text - eg chronological order
- using previous experience and earlier reading.
Text marking includes underlining, annotating or numbering the text to show sequence. Skills may well include:
- skimming or scanning to find specific information
- differentiating between different categories of information
- deciding what is relevant information
- finding the main idea(s)
- questioning the information presented in the text.
Text restructuring involves reading and then remodelling the information in another format. For example, flow charts, diagrams, Venn diagrams, grids, lists, maps, charts, concept maps or rewriting in another genre. Depending on the format, skills used will include:
- identifying what is key and relevant in a text
- applying what is known in a new context
- remodelling the content and the format of the text
- awareness of the characteristics of different genres
- critical reading
- summary and prioritisation
- writing as well as reading skills.