Close Reads

Close Reads are a popular topic right now with the Common Core and in my school/district.  As a Title I teacher I only have 30 minutes with my reading groups and the majority of our time is spent working on a close read.  I do switch it up every now and then with different skill based games but most of our time is spent building skills with comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. I know there are many different ways/aspects to close reads and I have heard many variations but I wanted to share how they are working for us!  I do not claim to be an expert on the topic by any means, this is just simply what has been working for my kiddos.

First, I find some quality short reading passages.  This can be a book but I have found that a whole book (even smaller leveled readers) typically take too long to read and hit all the skills I want to hit in 30 minutes.  So, I have created some and searched far and wide on TPT to find some quality reading passages (and all come with comprehension questions).  I have also trickled some of these down throughout the year as my kiddos have made progress.  For example, my 3rd graders began the year with the Finding Proof pack and have now graduated to Little Red's passages. Some packs focus on particular skills (inferencing, mythology or theme) while others are general reading passages. Here are some of my favorites!




As of right now, my 2nd graders are working on Finding Proof, my 3rd graders are working through Little Red's seasonal passages (and these informational ones too!) and my 4th graders are working on the awesome animal articles. 

So, what do we do with the passages?  Here's a breakdown of how we do Close Reads, again this is just what works for us.  
Here's what the passages look like after my kiddos have worked on them.
2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade (the comprehension questions for this passage are on the back of the page)

I also love to use lots of visuals with my kiddos during our reading time.  One of those is our Informational Text Feature bulletin board which is right by our reading table.  We refer to it often to identify and discuss text features.
These posters are available as a free download in the Primary Punch TPT store.  Many of the other posters I use with my groups can be found in The Ultimate Teacher Poster Pack! It also has posters for math which I love to use with my math groups. This is the ultimate bundle of posters that can be found in many of my units that I have created.
I also mentioned the RUNNERS test taking strategy above.  This is something that I try to incorporate with all my groups because I know the upper grade teachers work on it so I figure it doesn't hurt to use it with my younger kiddos to help prepare them. These RUNNERS strategy posters are also a free download in the Primary Punch TPT Store. I also have a free QR code version for the tech savy classroom.

Well that's how we do Close Reads in a nutshell.  I have finally begun to see some major progress with each of my reading groups which has been amazing!  I can't wait to see how far they come from now until the end of the year.


  1. I loved reading your tips for close reading and I will definitely have to check out your posters! We do close reads every week in our new Wonders program. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    Sprinkled in Second

  2. Thank you for this wonderful post! It will definitely help me to be more effective when teaching close reads in my classroom! I have never heard of the runners strategy--it looks great! I'm printing your posters right now! Thanks again!
    More Than Math by Mo

  3. What a jam-packed post!!! Thank you so much for the window into your amazingness!!!!

    I ADORE your Ultimate Teacher Poster Pack and am thrilled to see Finding Proof being used in your classroom!

    Hugs - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  4. This is a GREAT post filled with awesome resources!! thank you!

  5. is an excellent (free) resource for close reading at all grade levels and is aligned to each state's common core.