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Close reading is sweet!

Oct. 26, 2015 students taste oreos while learning about close reading

Mrs. Carolyn Rojas’ third grade class at Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School got an appetizing lesson on the importance of “close” reading.

 The lesson began when Mrs. Rojas passed out Oreo cookies to her students and asked them what they were eating. The answer was simple and unanimous: “Oreos!” But when Mrs. Rojas handed out a second round of Oreos, she asked her students to really think about what they were eating and to incorporate all five of their senses. What did the Oreos smell like? Taste like? Feel like? Suddenly, the answer wasn’t so unanimous, and the class came up with a wide range of adjectives to describe an Oreo.

Close reading is very much like eating those Oreos. The first reading gives you the gist of the story. The second reading enables you to really think, to dig in and gather much more detail, information and evidence about what you have read.

Words, tone, sentence structure, characters – all these components work together to make up literature. “It is so very important to read a text multiple times and gather all the information you possibly can in order to fully understand and appreciate any book,” said Mrs. Rojas. “This is what we are asking our students to do, and we see how teaching them to read close is helping them become much more critical thinkers and observers.”

students eat oreos while learning about close reading