Collaborative close reading

Part 1:

  1. Read your passage aloud at least twice.
  2. Annotate your paragraph. What literary elements do you see at play in the passage? What words or images don’t you understand? (Look up unfamiliar words or allusions in the OED or reputable dictionary.) Don’t just name the elements but explain them (for example, if you see a metaphor, don’t just say “metaphor” but explain what the comparison being made is).
  3. Highlight words or phrases that you can’t quite explain or still have questions about.
  4. Pass your passages and start again once time expires.

Part 2: Once all passages have been annotated,

  1. Use the class’s annotations and observations about this passage to write a thesis about how this passage “works.” Use the template “In this passage, Dawson does _____ to show _____” as a guide. Write an additional few sentences explaining the evidence for your thesis from the passage.
  2. Share your theses/sentences and discuss passages as a full group.

(Adapted from Danica Savonick’s Collaborative Close Reading guidelines.)

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