Lesson Plan

Close Reading: Critical Thinking with Technology

Students will use close reading to thoughtfully and critically analyze a text’s details and patterns in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text's form, craft, meanings, etc.
Jim V.
Classroom teacher
Marshall Elementary School
Wexford, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science

Students will be able to...

  • Understand what Close Reading is and how to use it while reading
  • Analyze a text to make connections
  • Determine meaning of words and phrases
English Language Arts
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


Introduce Close Reading by using the following video: https://vimeo.com/117164006

Afterwards, play a Kahoot to discuss a little deeper about teacher and student roles during Close Reading.  After each question,  be sure to explain any unknown areas to students and tell them that you will work together through the process.  Kahoot: https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/816f332c-78ce-418c-b5e2-da8266a0ae8a


Google Drive
Free, Paid

Dive deeper into the close reading process through the follow Google Slide:


Be sure to explain clearly the close reading toolbox and annotating marks.  These will be very useful when  close reading.  It would be beneficial to print out the toolboxes and have them handy for students to use.


Now that students understand the process of close reading, work together with students to close read a text.  The following is an example of a fifth grade close read story:


Download this example into Notability and work together with students through the close read process.  Facilitate the discussions and encourage students to share their insights.  Remember that they are detectives trying to gain deeper insights into the text.  After reading the text multiple times and marking it up using the toolbox, have students reflect and analyze the story by citing evidence in their responses to the questions.

Generate a discussion about what other areas could students use close reading.  A guiding question could be: How would using close reading benefit you in another subject, such as math?  Why?

The  goal is for students to understand that close reading is a beneficial process to use in all areas!


Once students have an understanding of the close reading process, provide students with other texts to practice.  The following resources have various close reading passages for students to try.

  • HMH Close Reads (Different apps for grades 6-12)
  • ReadWorks.org
  • Teacherspayteachers.com
  • Readingatoz.com
  • Scholastic.com
  • Your curricular stories!