My comment today is about the “Hype” of Close Reading that has been boosted by the Common Core Standards. It seems as it is being touted as a new idea. However, veteran (okay I mean old) teachers know that close reading is simply a new name for “Shared Reading.” You know the great shared readings that was promoted by Bobbie Fisher and other Whole Language (okay I know this is now a bad word) greats of the 1990s. These proponents of reading text closely, with purpose, using the “think aloud model” as the teacher “closely” looks at a book, brought books quickly to life for young readers.
So today as I taught my Common Core objectives for reading literature to children, I simply enjoyed a great Shared Reading lesson with my students.
We read the book “One Cold Wet Night” by Joy Cowley and June Melser (yes I have owned that book for almost two decades now and I have yet to see a child not love it). After closely taking a “picture walk” (or using todays term) looking for visual clues we read the story three times with different objectives at each reading.
Next we made a story map recording all of the elements in the story. Then, the students recorded the elements in their journal.
Yes, Ruth and Melba were right (the veterans of my early career). Good teaching is good teaching no matter the name.