5 Free Close Reading Ideas and Activities!


I wrote a blog post way back when that explains how I introduce my first graders to close reading and how happy I become every year when it finally *clicks*! My young students learn to go back in the text, highlight important information, circle vocabulary terms, infer meaning from the text, and go back into the text to provide evidence to comprehension questions!

To read how we do that click the image below:

Now onto some free passages, activities, and ideas to help your young learners with close reading:

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Here is a passage from my Close Reading Unit. Students will read this fiction passage, define key vocabulary terms and infer the answers to some comprehension questions!


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Close reading with poetry!
This awesome freebie is from Jennifer over at First Grade, Blue Skies. You can snag her sheet and some great poems to use it with by clicking on the image above!

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These close read bookmarks are a great resource from Fantastic First Grade Froggies and let students practice marking up their text independently. Just click the image above to grab your copy.

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This great close reading companion goes with the class favorite, Miss Nelson is Missing! Tessa Maguire of Tales From Outside the Classroom, has thought of everything for you to get started close reading with this picture book. She has stopping points, questions, and graphic organizers ready for you to use! Just click the image above to download your own copy.

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 Tara West over at Little Minds at Work, has quite a few close read units in her shop, but this penguin one is perfect for your little learners. Click on the image above to check it out!

I hope these 5 freebies have been useful to you and your students as they continue to grow as learners.

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Happy teaching :)
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Interactive Read Aloud Lessons!


Interactive read aloud, do you do it?!

In my first grade classroom I used to have the class sit down after lunch/recess and I would read them some of my favorite books – Junie B., Flat Stanley, etc. It was a time to calm down, enjoy a good book, and get ready for an afternoon of learning. I wanted to save and protect this precious time when the talk of “rigor” and “time on task” would come up often in professional discussions. A little planning can put this read aloud time to good use and prove to be academic as well as enjoyable!

Interactive read aloud is essentially a planned and purposeful read aloud that encourages thoughtful and respectful discussion!

An interactive read aloud has your students actively thinking about one certain skill during a read aloud. It is a skill that the teacher will model and that students will discuss throughout the read aloud. It takes your basic read aloud and turns it up a notch (or two!). I would always ask comprehension questions throughout my regular read alouds, but I found that when I really research and plan my questions and stopping points before hand, I could provide a deeper discussion for my students!

I figured since I was planning out all these lessons around my favorite books, I would start writing down my stopping points and questions in case other teachers wanted to use them as well!


I created a scope and sequence of skills that I teach throughout the year and found some of the best classroom favorites to help teach those skills. Each book has a convenient, 1-page printable lesson plan for you to reference as you read. 

Some of the focus skills addressed are:
- Illustrations & Text relationship
- Concepts of print
- Character traits
- Setting and story elements
- Making connections
- Problem & Solutions
- Cause and Effect
- Main idea/Theme
- Non fiction text features
- Character changes
- Reading a variety of texts
- Inferring
- Point of view
- and more!

I have a free one here for you to try that goes with the book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann I use this book at the beginning of the year to help teach the concept that illustrations can give readers more information than the text!
{Just click the image above and download the preview to print this lesson easily!}

In my first grade classroom, I actually have a specific interactive read aloud block, but if you don't you can see that the read alouds can easily be used in your guided reading block, small group, or even to print out and add to your sub plans!

If you think these read aloud lessons can be used in your room, check out my unit below to get a better idea of what is included:

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