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Close Reading Rounds

By Jessica Aggrey

Purpose: Post-reading debrief

Time: approximately 50 minutes

Level: adaptable to multiple levels. I used it in an advanced class one level below freshman composition.

In past posts, I wrote about “Close Reading Folders” and “Close Reading Knowledge Building,” two activities to get your students working together to unpack key passages of a text. I love the concept of focusing students on important passages and having them go deep, especially in an integrated class where reading authentic texts is an important part of the class.

I created an activity this last week with a similar idea to the above mentioned activities but with a different twist. It’s nice to have variety in the activities we do in class. The one thing I really like about this new version is that for each round, students will be doing a different task that has them unpack the passage in a different way, which can also help to reduce the repetition of a multi-round activity.

Here’s how to set up the activity:

  1. Select 6 key passages from a text. Copy the page and cut out just the passage.
  2. Take 11X17 pieces of paper and divide them into six equal squares. Label each square round 1, 2, 3, etc.
  3. Tape one passage on the center of each piece of paper.
  4. Put students into groups, and tell them that they will get 7 minutes each round to read and discuss the passage and then complete a task unique to each round.
  5. After each round, rotate the papers to a new group and display a new task (I used slides for this).

The rounds I did are as follows:

Round 1: Read, discuss, and add vocabulary about the passage / explanation for any confusing sentences/parts of the passage.

Round 2: Read, discuss, and write a 15 – 20 word summary of the passage.

Round 3: Read, discuss, and write down some connections/examples you can make about the passage.

Round 4: Read, discuss, and write at least two discussion questions related to the general topic of the passage. They don’t have to be about the passage itself. They can be extension questions.

Round 5: Read, discuss, and answer the questions from round 4.

Round 6: Read, discuss, and write your group’s opinion(s) about this passage.


Say Thanks. Get Jessica a cup of coffee.


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