Hi friends! Today I wanted to talk about a simple way to start practicing close reading with your kids. I usually start by using the symbol card in my Close Reading Toolkits, but that seemed to be overwhelming for some of my kids this year. I decided to simplify the method by coming up with three different "things" to look for and highlight/annotate. This worked out really well, so I thought I would share!

I displayed this printable on the whiteboard and told the kids to grab three highlighter colors. This was super easy because we keep art boxes that contain TBE highlighters on the table so we just used this. Each kid made a color key at the top of their text to show what color meant what. 

We looked for characters, which included new characters, characteristics, character interactions, etc. Anything to do with characters, we highlighted with our character color. 
Next, we choose a different color for setting. Again, anytime the setting was mentioned, the setting changed, a description of the setting, we highlighted.
Finally, we grabbed another color for 'feels'. This means anytime you have a reaction to the text, we highlighted that part with the third color. It could be a question you have about what is happening, a connection you've thought of, a part that shocked, saddened,angered,etc you. Anything you felt got highlighted with the third color.

After that, it was time to read! For this lesson, I used a passage from ReadWorks. We took a paragraph at a time and worked in groups of four. After a few minutes, we read the paragraph together and shared what we had highlighted. 

Simple and Effective!