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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Annotation {Close Reading Mini-Series}

Welcome back! Today is the final day in the Close Reading Mini-Series! Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! Today's topic is Annotation.

Day 5
Annotation is sometimes known as "Reading with a pencil". In simple terms, that's all it is. Students use a pencil while they read to note specific things. Annotation is extremely important when analyzing a text.

Types of Annotation
-Noting unknown words
-Noting challenging sections
-Writing margin notes
-Writing on bookmarks
-Writing on sticky notes

In high schools and colleges, students always annotate in text when participating in close reading. Elementary students have very little experience with this. {Most elementary teachers may have very little experience teaching it!}

So, how do you annotate in an elementary classroom? 
Can you guess? MODIFY! 
(That seems to be our answer every day!)

Ways to Modify Annotation
-Use wiki sticks to underline
-Use colored pencils or highlighters to show unknown words
-Number paragraphs or draw lines to separate paragraphs
-Use only a limited number of annotations

Why Start So Young?
1. It is so important to teach students to do this at a young age. Start in primary! Use some of the modifications above to help you explain "reading with a pencil" to the little ones. As you model a few types, students will begin to use them in the close reading process. I recommend choosing just a few to focus on so that students become comfortable using them and understand why they are using them.
2. THEY CAN DO IT! Believe in them. They are capable of GREAT things!

This is an example of what I would say to students in my classroom last year (high achieving first grade) once we were comfortable with our annotations. I stuck to just 3. Keep in mind that we went over these one at a time earlier in the year.
1. Number the paragraphs to the left of each paragraph.
2. Circle any unknown or tricky words.
3. While answering questions, go back to the text and highlight the evidence. Make sure you have the question number next to your evidence.
Here you can see some annotations in a close read. 
Thank you, thank you! I hope that this mini-series will give you ideas to bring back to your classroom! Please feel free to email me with any questions at

I have linked 3 of my close reading resources below. Check them out if you are interested in implementing close reading in your classroom. While you're there, I'd love if you would follow my store! I have several close reading packs in the works right now. They will be posted soon! 

Each pack comes with a weekly layout, CCSS alignment, passages, vocabulary activities, reading responses, visualizing & questioning handouts, graphic organizers, and writing prompts. Click the preview link under the images to see more before you buy!
Rainforest Close Reads - 4 passages & more!
All About Dogs Close Reads - 10 passages & more!
Amazing Eyes Close Reads - 4 passages & more!
Florida Close Reads - 5 Passages & more!

 If you would like to read more about close reading, please see the references below. I promise you, they are not boring. :)
Happy Reading! To go back to Day 1 of the Close Reading Mini-Series, click here.

1 comment:

  1. teaching4thgradersJuly 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Thank you for taking the time to blog about close reading! I looked forward to reading it each day :-) I shared it with fb for my teacher friends...


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