My goal is to share resources with other educators in an effort to facilitate their professional experiences, particularly for those new to the profession or the field of high school English.

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This close reading assessment promotes thoughtful, critical analysis of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Chapter 19), helping students focus on significant details to develop a deeper understanding of the text and contribute more meaningfully to class discussion. To accommodate classroom and distance learning environments, materials will be delivered as an editable Word Doc and PDF. An answer key is provided.

This resource may serve as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode language and pose/respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers comprehend their thinking.

By engaging in this exercise, students will:

  • Analyze the effect of the author’s language upon the reader
  • Draw reasoned inferences about characterization
  • Apply knowledge of literary devices to the novel
  • Read closely to isolate accurate statements from false statements
  • Write about literature such that the reader will follow the student’s reasoning
  • Support claims with relevant textual evidence and/or reasoned thinking
  • Articulate thoughts with clarity, accuracy, and precision


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