Read With An Eagle Eye

March 02, 2016

Close reading is reading carefully and thoughtfully—really thinking about what a passage says and what it means.  Noticing and reflecting on the words an author chooses is one way for your youngster to practice reading closely.

Senses
Which words or phrases appeal to your child’s five senses?  On a sheet of paper, have her draw a large eye, ear, mouth, nose, and hand to represent seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching.  As you read a book aloud, she can write words on the pictures to match the senses.  For example, if she hears “bowls of spicy chili,” she might write “spicy chili” on the mouth.

Feelings
Your youngster can use clues from a story to tell how characters feel.  Encourage her to listen for words that describe or hint at emotions. (“The bunny hopped in delight.” “The queen sighed.”)  Then, ask her to act out each feeling. She might hop around to show the bunny’s delight.  Can she explain why the character felt that way?  (“The bunny was happy because she found a carrot.”)

Time and place
Authors add details to give readers a sense of when and where the story happens.  A sentence like “Mornings were cold and dark now when she woke for school” suggests that it’s winter.  Read a book without showing your child the illustrations.  Next, let her draw a picture of the setting.  She could use details about the weather, clothing, and activities to imagine the time and place.

For more great ways you can work together with your child for learning success, be sure to check out this month’s Reading Connection Newsletters for grades K-2 and grades 3-5.

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