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Text Complexity and Close Reading

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Presentation on theme: "Text Complexity and Close Reading"— Presentation transcript:

1 Text Complexity and Close Reading
Doug Fisher Contact me at Videos on our FisherandFrey YouTube Channel

2 Purpose To identify the essential components of close reading (RL/RI 1) of complex texts (RL/RI 10) which includes collaborative conversations (S & L 1) and writing from sources (W 1), fostering language development (L 6) and deeper thinking.

3 10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

4 Assessing Texts Quantitative measures Qualitative values
Task and Reader considerations

5 Assessing Texts Quantitative measures Qualitative values
Task and Reader considerations

6 Language Convention and Clarity
Background Prior Cultural Vocabulary Standard English Variations Register Genre Organization Narration Text Features Graphics Density and Complexity Figurative Language Purpose Levels of Meaning Structure Knowledge Demands Language Convention and Clarity

7 Levels of Meaning and Purpose
Density and complexity Figurative language Purpose

8 Levels of Meaning and Purpose
Is it about talking animals, or the USSR? Is it entertainment, or political satire? Is it straightforward, or ambiguous? 1370L Grades 11-12

9 Allegory for tolerance
Author’s Purpose Allegory for tolerance Mirrored events of early Civil Rights movement (1961) “Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches Had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all..” But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches Would brag, ‘We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.’ With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort ‘We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!’ And whenever they met some, when they were out walking, They’d hike right on past them without even talking.” 530L Grades 2-3

10 Complex themes Relationship between love and pain Masculinity
Loyalty and war 730L Grades 2-3

11 Structure Genre Organization Narration Text features and graphics

12 Structure Changes in narration, point of view
Changes in font signal narration changes Complex themes 560L Grades 2-3

13 Structure Stream of consciousness narration Unreliable narrators
Nonlinear structure Time shifts written in italics 870L (grades 4-5)

14 Language Conventions Standard English and variations Register

15 Language Conventions Non-standard English usage
“Out in the hottest, dustiest part of town is an orphanage run by a female person nasty enough to scare night into day. She goes by the name of Mrs. Sump, though I doubt there ever was a Mr. Sump on accounta she looks like somethin’ the cat drug in and the dog wouldn’t eat.” (Stanley, 1996, p. 2) AD 660L (Adult-directed)

16 Knowledge Demands Background knowledge Prior knowledge Cultural knowledge Vocabulary

17 Knowledge Demands Domain-specific vocabulary (radioactive, acidity, procedure, vaccination) Background knowledge (diseases, safety risks, scientific experimentation) 1100L Grades 6-8

18 Cultural Knowledge Demands
Buddhist philosophy Search for spiritual enlightenment Eightfold Path to Nirvana 1010L Grades 6-8

19 1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

20 Creating a Close Reading
Use a short passage Creating a Close Reading

21 Creating a Close Reading
Use a short passage Re-reading Creating a Close Reading

22 Different Readings Have Different Foci
Initial reads of the text What does the text say? After at least one reading How does the text work? Later readings of the text or related texts What does the text mean? Shanahan, 2013

23 Creating a Close Reading
Use a short passage Re-reading “Read with a pencil” Creating a Close Reading

24 Underline the major points.
Circle keywords or phrases that are confusing or unknown to you. Use a question mark (?) for questions that you have during the reading. Be sure to write your question. Use an exclamation mark (!) for things that surprise you, and briefly note what it was that caught your attention. Draw an arrow (↵) when you make a connection to something inside the text, or to an idea or experience outside the text. Briefly note your connections. Mark EX when the author provides an example. Numerate arguments, important ideas, or key details and write words or phrases that restate them.

25 Creating a Close Reading
Use a short passage Re-reading “Read with a pencil” Text-dependent questions Creating a Close Reading

26 Types of Text-dependent Questions
Opinions, Arguments, Intertextual Connections Inferences Author’s Purpose Vocab & Text Structure Key Details General Understandings Whole Across texts Entire text Segments Paragraph Sentence Word Part

27 Creating a Close Reading
Use a short passage Re-reading “Read with a pencil” Text-dependent questions Give students the chance to struggle a bit Creating a Close Reading

28 General Understandings
Overall view Sequence of information Story arc Main claim and evidence Gist of passage

29 General Understandings in Kindergarten
Retell the story in order using the words beginning, middle, and end.

30 Key Details Search for nuances in meaning
Determine importance of ideas Find supporting details that support main ideas Answers who, what, when, where, why, how much, or how many.

31 Key Details in Kindergarten
How long did it take to go from a hatched egg to a butterfly? What is one food that gave him a stomachache? What is one food that did not him a stomachache?

32 It took more than 3 weeks. He ate for one week, and then “he stayed inside [his cocoon] for more than two weeks.”

33 Foods that did not give him a stomachache
Foods that gave him a stomachache Apples Pears Plums Strawberries Oranges Green leaf Chocolate cake Ice cream Pickle Swiss cheese Salami Lollipop Cherry pie Sausage Cupcake watermelon

34 Vocabulary and Text Structure
Bridges literal and inferential meanings Denotation Connotation Shades of meaning Figurative language How organization contributes to meaning

35 Vocabulary in Kindergarten
How does the author help us to understand what cocoon means?

36 There is an illustration of the cocoon, and a sentence that reads, “He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself.”

37 Author’s Purpose Genre: Entertain? Explain? Inform? Persuade?
Point of view: First-person, third-person limited, omniscient, unreliable narrator Critical Literacy: Whose story is not represented?

38 Author’s Purpose in Kindergarten
Who tells the story—the narrator or the caterpillar?

39 A narrator tells the story, because he uses the words he and his
A narrator tells the story, because he uses the words he and his. If it was the caterpillar, he would say I and my.

40 Inferences Probe each argument in persuasive text, each idea in informational text, each key detail in literary text, and observe how these build to a whole.

41 Inferences in Kindergarten
The title of the book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. How do we know he is hungry?

42 The caterpillar ate food every day “but he was still hungry
The caterpillar ate food every day “but he was still hungry.” On Saturday he ate so much food he got a stomachache! Then he was “a big, fat caterpillar” so he could build a cocoon and turn into a butterfly.

43 Opinions, Arguments, and Intertextual Connections
Author’s opinion and reasoning (K-5) Claims Evidence Counterclaims Ethos, Pathos, Logos Rhetoric Links to other texts throughout the grades

44 Opinions and Intertextual Connections in Kindergarten
Narrative Informational Is this a happy story or a sad one? How do you know? How are these two books similar? How are they different?

45 Differences Between K-2 and 3-12?
In K-2, teacher reads aloud initially, annotates wholly or guides student annotation. Students may or may not eventually read independently, depending on text difficulty (e.g., Wizard of Oz in Kindergarten.) In 3-12, students read independently beginning with first reading, and annotate with increased independence. Readers who cannot initially read independently may be read to, or may encounter the text previously during scaffolded small group reading instruction.


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