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Elements of Elementary

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I am currently a 2nd grade teacher at a public school in Arkansas, with 7 years of teaching experience. I hold a Master's Degree in Elementary Education, and am certified for P-8. I also hold a P-12 certification in ESL. I have taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. My teaching specialties are reading, science, and technology, although I love every subject. I am a computer programmer, and absolutely LOVE using the flipped classroom technique and new technology in my classroom.

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I am currently a 2nd grade teacher at a public school in Arkansas, with 7 years of teaching experience. I hold a Master's Degree in Elementary Education, and am certified for P-8. I also hold a P-12 certification in ESL. I have taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. My teaching specialties are reading, science, and technology, although I love every subject. I am a computer programmer, and absolutely LOVE using the flipped classroom technique and new technology in my classroom.
Drones: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity
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Drones: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity

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A short nonfiction close reading passage providing a brief introduction to the history and main uses and concerns with using drones in today's society. Using nonfiction text features such as subheadings and footers, this text introduces students to the complex and newly debated concept of drones and automated aircraft. This is a short passage, and is only designed to serve as an overview or introduction to the concept, or as practice for standardized testing using a topic with which few students have prior knowledge.This passage is designed in such a way that students should be able to analyze the text and respond to testing-style questions without having prior knowledge of drones, remote controlled aircraft, automaton, or aerial technology. This close reading activity is perfect for PARCC or ACT Aspire practice and the integration of Science into English Language Arts. Designed for 6th-8th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the excerpt multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in PARCC & ACT Aspire testing. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Bridges: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity
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Bridges: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity

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Bridges: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity is a nonfiction passage describing the four main traditional types of bridges. Beam bridges, arch bridges, trestle or truss bridges, and suspension bridges are introduced in the passage. Images are included for each bridge throughout the reading. This passage is designed in such a way that students should be able to analyze the text and respond to testing-style questions without having prior knowledge of the engineering or history of bridges. This close reading activity is perfect for both PARCC practice and the STEM or STEAM classroom. Designed for 5th and 6th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the technical excerpt multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in ACT Aspire and PARCC testing. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Back to School Daily Reading Comprehension FREEBIE
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Back to School Daily Reading Comprehension FREEBIE

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1 FULL week of August's Daily Reading Comprehension is FREE forever with this download. Enjoy 1 week of daily reading comprehension worksheets for 5th grade. Thinking of buying a full month (or more) of daily reading comprehension activities? Check this out and give it a try in your classroom before you commit! This week-long activity is a fictional story about going back to school. Written on a 5th grade reading level, it is perfect for daily morning work or homework. Great for standardized test prep, these passages have the feel and re-reading of a close read with more structure. Questions are grouped by type so that students focus on one main skill a day. Monday - students read the passage and answer questions about main idea, theme, and the general form of the text. Tuesday - students re-read the passage and answer multiple choice, standardized-test styled questions. Wednesday - students re-read the passage and answer character or setting questions about the text. Thursday - students re-read the passage and answer GUM (Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics) questions about the text. Friday - students re-read the passage and answer short-answer, written response questions about the text. Text is in American English.
The History of Basketball: A Non-Fiction Close Read for 4th-6th Grade
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The History of Basketball: A Non-Fiction Close Read for 4th-6th Grade

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Got boys that love sports but hate to read?? Here's a non-fiction passage about the history of basketball sure to get them geared up to try out the original rules at recess, while giving you an awesome assessment of their close reading skills! "The History of Basketball: A Non-Fiction Close Read for 4th-6th Grade" is a close reading passage and questions designed to engage students in close reading, reading comprehension strategies by presenting a non-fiction sports-based passage. Students who love sports will enjoy this article on the origin of Basketball, reviewing the original rules of Basketball, and having the opportunity to create their own game and rules with a partner. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The reading passage is written on a beginning-of-the-year 6th grade Reading Level. This makes the passage ideal for 4th and 5th grade students, because the nature of the assignment leads them to read closely for a greater understanding of a more difficult text. It is also ideal for 6th graders who need practice focusing on reading comprehension and question-answering strategies. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here. The seven questions range from basic knowledge to inference.
Dewey Decimal System Nonfiction Close Reading Activity
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Dewey Decimal System Nonfiction Close Reading Activity

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This nonfiction close reading activity is designed to teach students about the Dewey Decimal system while encouraging reading comprehension with tasks and repeated reading. This passage, directions, and questions are designed for students to read repeatedly, read with a partner, read looking for information, and then answer questions based on the text they have read. The 10 questions that go with this passage span DOK levels 1-4, as well as a variety of Bloom's taxonomy levels. Students begin with simple questions which ask them basic reading comprehension questions, and lead into deeper understanding tasks. This activity is perfect for a regular ELA session or for a substitute teacher, as the materials are print and go ready! It is designed specifically to encourage the type of reading and thinking necessary for PARCC, ACT Aspire, and STARR. Great test prep at your fingertips!
Nonfiction Close Reading Activities Bundle
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Nonfiction Close Reading Activities Bundle

9 Resources
This Nonfiction Close Reading Activites Bundle contains ALL of the nonfiction close reading activities from my store. As new nonfiction close reading activities are added to my store, they will be added to this bundle. When new items are added, the price of this bundle will increase as well, although it will always be a discount over purchasing each close read individually. If you purchase this bundle now, all new updates with new close reads will be available to you, free, with a re-download from your My Resources page. The sooner you purchase the bundle, the better the price! Currently, the discount is at 16%. 9 close reading activities are currently included in this download, ready to print and go! These close reading activities have students focus first on reading the passage multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in ACT Aspire and PARCC testing, as well as on the SATs. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core and most state standards, and is best completed with short passages such as the ones provided here. Files currently included: *Bridges *Castles *Drones *Properties of Flight *American Constitution *Thermal Energy *Columbus Day *The History of Basketball *Dewey Decimal System
Castles: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity
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Castles: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity

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Castles: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity is a nonfiction passage describing the traditional European castle from the Middle Ages. This excerpt was written for students to practice text analysis on a slightly more difficult, technical passage. It is designed in such a way that students should be able to analyze the text and respond to testing-style questions without having prior knowledge. This close reading activity fits well with 5th grade Common Core's Medieval Times unit, or as a History integration piece for any classroom. Designed for 5th and 6th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the technical excerpt multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in PARCC & ACT Aspire testing. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Parts of Speech Task Cards: Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Adjectives
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Parts of Speech Task Cards: Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Adjectives

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32 Animal-Print Task Cards designed to practice recognition and identification of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. **NOTE--For this activity, I have specifically not counted "a, an, & the" as adjectives. This is not taught in all schools at this level, and might become too confusing for students. If you teach "a, an, & the" as adjectives, you can simply add those to the answer sheet for your students.** These task cards are perfect for literacy center, small groups, and whole group activities such as Scoot. Their self-checking and straightforward nature make them ideal for ESL/ELL students of all ages. Included are: *32 full-color animal print task cards (8 each of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) *1 full-color blank answer sheet for student use *1 full-color sheet of blank task cards for your use *1 full-color answer sheet with answers *All of the above in grayscale for black & white printers
Back to School Close Reading Activities 2 Pack: Back to School & How I Spent My Summer Vacation
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Back to School Close Reading Activities 2 Pack: Back to School & How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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2 Close Reading Activities in one! This set contains 2 fictional Back To School themed close reading activities for 3rd-5th grade students. The first passage is titled "Back To School", and the second is titled "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." Back to School: Sally and Jordan learn that there is nothing to be scared of when going back to school in this fictional short reading activity. "Back to School: A Fictional Close Read for 3rd-5th Grade" is a close reading passage and questions designed to teach students reading comprehension and text analysis strategies. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The reading passage is written on an end-of-the-year 3rd grade Reading Level. This makes the passage ideal for 4th and 5th grade students at back to school time, either as review of close reading strategies, or as a first close reading activity. James discovers that his summer vacation really wasn't that boring as he writes his classic beginning of the year essay, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." How I Spent My Summer Vacation: "How I Spent My Summer Vacation: A Fictional Close Read for 3rd-5th Grade" is a close reading passage and questions designed to teach students reading comprehension and text analysis strategies. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice. The reading passage is written on an end-of-the-year 4th grade Reading Level. This makes the passage ideal for 4th and 5th grade students at back to school time, either as review of close reading strategies, or as a first close reading activity.
The Perfect Christmas Tree: A Winter Close Read
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The Perfect Christmas Tree: A Winter Close Read

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The Perfect Christmas Tree: A Winter Close Read is the fictional story of a boy who starts out with a detailed list on how to choose the perfect tree. As the story unfolds, Charles learns the importance of understanding and using lists and rules when making decisions. Designed for 4th and 5th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the story multiple times while searching for unknown words, literary devices, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. This close reading passage has a Lexile level of 610L. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Thanksgiving Close Reading Activity - Pardon Me! A Turkey's Story
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Thanksgiving Close Reading Activity - Pardon Me! A Turkey's Story

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Pardon Me! A Turkey's Story is a fictional Thanksgiving-based close reading activity that tells the story of the White House turkey pardoning tradition from the eyes of Pumpkin the turkey. Designed for 4th and 5th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the story multiple times while searching for unknown words, literary devices, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. This close reading passage has a Lexile level of 710L. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
A Face for a Pumpkin: A Halloween Fictional Close Read for 3rd-5th Grade
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A Face for a Pumpkin: A Halloween Fictional Close Read for 3rd-5th Grade

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A Face for a Pumpkin-that's what Corey wants to make when he gets home! In this close reading activity written on a middle-year 3rd grade level, Corey fails to make a jack o' lantern until his dad walks him through the steps. This is a fun fictional read that gets students to look closely at "how-to" writing. In the end, after studying the text for key words and transitions and answering questions, students are asked to write their own how-to passage. A fun Halloween or Fall activity, this close read is all about jack-o-lanterns and "how to" writing. If you have students who do not celebrate Halloween, or if you school does not celebrate Halloween, this activity is perfect for you! The word "Halloween" is not included in the passage or questions, and other related concepts such as trick-or-treating are not mentioned as well. Designed for students to first read independently and then again with a partner, this activity encourages students to reread text, while teaching them strategies for close reading. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice. This specific close read was created with Standardized Test Prep in mind, and the questions have the look and feel of Benchmark/SAT 9 test questions. The reading passage is written on a middle of the year 3rd grade Reading Level, which makes the passage ideal for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. They can focus on reading closely and paying attention to the text, without getting stuck by too difficult concepts and words. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Fictional Close Reading Set: The Lighthouse and The Camping Trip
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Fictional Close Reading Set: The Lighthouse and The Camping Trip

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Two fictional close reading activities have been combined for use in your classroom. The Camping Trip: A Fictional Close Reading Activity contains a fictional passage about two friends who go camping and meet an unexpected creature. The Lighthouse: A Fictional Close Reading Activity is the fictional story of a man who is struggling with the idea of his traditional lighthouse being replaced by a computerized, electric lighthouse. Designed for 4th and 5th grade students, these close reading activities have students focus first on reading the story multiple times while searching for unknown words, literary devices, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend these activities to Standardized Test Practice as well. Designed to help students with ACT Aspire and PARCC practice, I have tried to create a variety of lengths, topics, and levels of difficulty in my close reading activities. This passage is a longer fictional passage, with 4 pages of double-spaced text.
Space Fictional Close Reading Set: Jack's Asteroid Adventure & The Sky's the Limit
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Space Fictional Close Reading Set: Jack's Asteroid Adventure & The Sky's the Limit

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Jack is working for his father, setting up an asteroid for mining in this fictional outer space close read sure to grab the attention of boys (and girls!) and reluctant readers! The Sky's The Limit-at least, that's what this astronaut's mother always told him! This close read is only one page long, perfect for shorter class periods or lots of class discussion or modeling. Written on a 5th grade level, the passage is written so that the questions and reading instructions have students focusing on word choice, repeated phrases, and author's meaning. "Jack's Asteroid Adventure" and "The Sky's the Limit" are close reading passage and questions designed to teach students reading comprehension and text analysis strategies. Designed for students to first read independently and then again with a partner, these activities encourage students to reread text, while teaching them strategies for close reading. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice. The reading passages are written on a middle-of-the-year 4th grade Reading Level. This makes the passage ideal for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students, as 3rd grade students can focus on reading closely with harder texts, and 5th grade students can focus on making sure to read simple texts closely. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here. The seven questions in each activity range from basic knowledge to inference.
Fictional Close Reading Activities Bundle
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Fictional Close Reading Activities Bundle

6 Resources
This Fiction Close Reading Activities Bundle contains ALL of the fiction close reading activities from my store. As new fictional close reading activities are added to my store, they will be added to this bundle. When new items are added, the price of this bundle will increase as well, although it will always be a discount over purchasing each close read individually. If you purchase this bundle now, all new updates with new close reads will be available to you, free, with a re-download from your My Resources page. The sooner you purchase the bundle, the better the price! Currently, the discount is at 17%. 9 close reading activities are currently included in this download, ready to print and go! These close reading activities have students focus first on reading the passage multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in ACT Aspire and PARCC testing, as well as on the SATs. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core and most state standards, and is best completed with short passages such as the ones provided here. Files currently included (Some are in sets of 2): * A Face for a Pumpkin * Back To School - How I Spent My Summer Vacation & Back to School * The Lighthouse & The Camping Trip *Pardon Me! A Turkey's Story *The Perfect Christmas Tree *Space: Jack's Asteroid Adventure & The Sky's the Limit
September Daily Reading Comprehension
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September Daily Reading Comprehension

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his September Daily Reading Comprehension Packet is 5 weeks of daily reading comprehension for the 5th grade classroom with a September theme. These week-long activities alternate between fiction and non-fiction texts about back to school and September themes, as well as History topics. Written on 5th grade reading levels, these passages are perfect for daily morning work or homework. Great for standardized test prep, these passages have the feel and re-reading of a close read with more structure. Questions are grouped by type so that students focus on one main skill a day. Simply print, hand out to students, and have them complete one activity each day. Each page should take between 10 and 15 minutes to answer, plus about 5 minutes for reading or re-reading the passage. Each week, the student is presented with a new passage that they will work with for the whole week. Each week follows the same general format: Monday - students read the passage and answer questions about main idea, theme, and the general form of the text. Tuesday - students re-read the passage and answer multiple choice, standardized-test styled questions. Wednesday - students re-read the passage and answer character or setting questions about the text, or specific History, Science, or other related questions for the non-fiction texts. Thursday - students re-read the passage and answer GUM (Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics) and text structure questions. Friday - students re-read the passage and answer short-answer, written response questions about the text. This month's topics: Non-Fiction - Labor Day Fiction - The Music Box Non-Fiction - Constitution and Citizenship Day Fiction - The Big Day Non-Fiction - Nocturnal Adaptations Want to know more before you buy? Check out the first full week in my Back to School 1-week FREEIBE! All passages and questions are in American English.
August Daily Reading Comprehension
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August Daily Reading Comprehension

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This August Daily Reading Comprehension Packet is 4 weeks of daily reading comprehension for the 5th grade classroom with an August theme. These week-long activities alternate between fiction and non-fiction texts about back to school and August themes, as well as Science and History topics. Written on 5th grade reading levels, these passages are perfect for daily morning work or homework. Great for standardized test prep, these passages have the feel and re-reading of a close read with more structure. Questions are grouped by type so that students focus on one main skill a day. Simply print, hand out to students, and have them complete one activity each day. Each page should take between 10 and 15 minutes to answer, plus about 5 minutes for reading or re-reading the passage. Each week, the student is presented with a new passage that they will work with for the whole week. Each week follows the same general format: Monday - students read the passage and answer questions about main idea, theme, and the general form of the text. Tuesday - students re-read the passage and answer multiple choice, standardized-test styled questions. Wednesday - students re-read the passage and answer character or setting questions about the text, or specific History, Science, or other related questions for the non-fiction texts. Thursday - students re-read the passage and answer GUM (Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics) and text structure questions. Friday - students re-read the passage and answer short-answer, written response questions about the text. This month's topics: Fiction - Back to School Non-Fiction - History of School Busses Fiction - The Stray Non-Fiction - Phases of the Moon Want to know more before you buy? Check out the first full week in my Back to School 1-week FREEIBE! All passages and questions are in American English.
Properties of Flight: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity
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Properties of Flight: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity

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Properties of Flight: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity is a nonfiction description of the four main forces required for flight: lift, drag, thrust, and gravity. An excerpt written specifically by an engineer for students to practice text analysis, this passage may be considered more difficult for some students. It is designed in such a way that students should be able to analyze the text and respond to testing-style questions without having prior knowledge of these scientific concepts. Designed for 5th and 6th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the technical excerpt multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in PARCC & ACT Aspire testing. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Thermal Energy Transfer: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity
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Thermal Energy Transfer: A Nonfiction Close Reading Activity

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A short nonfiction close reading passage providing a brief introduction to thermal energy transfer, heat, and kinetic energy. This text introduces students to the complex concepts of thermal energy, which are presented in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This is a short passage, and is only designed to serve as an overview or introduction to the concept, or as practice for standardized testing using a topic with which few students have prior knowledge.This passage is designed in such a way that students should be able to analyze the text and respond to testing-style questions without having prior knowledge of thermal energy or energy transfer. This close reading activity is perfect for PARCC or ACT Aspire practice and the integration of Science into English Language Arts. Designed for 5th-7th grade students, this close reading activity has students focus first on reading the excerpt multiple times while searching for unknown words, new concepts, and key points. Then, the students answer questions ranging from Knowledge to Synthesis on Bloom's Taxonomy. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The questions and activities are designed to help students practice analyzing a difficult, technical nonfiction text and respond to a variety of questions in preparation for similar techniques used in PARCC testing. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here.
Columbus Day: A Non-Fiction Close Read for 4th-6th Grade
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Columbus Day: A Non-Fiction Close Read for 4th-6th Grade

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"Columbus Day: A Close Read for 4th-6th Grade" is a close reading passage and questions designed to teach students about the national holiday Columbus Day, while also teaching reading comprehension and strategies. Students will learn a little about why we celebrate Columbus Day in America, and why Columbus is an important historical figure. The nature of close reading, as well as the passage and questions lend this activity to Standardized Test Practice as well. The reading passage is written on an end-of-the-year 5th grade Reading Level. This makes the passage ideal for 4th and 5th grade students, because the nature of the assignment leads them to read closely for a greater understanding of a more difficult text. Within the passage, Columbus Day is presented in a non-fiction format. Close reading is a strategy that is encouraged through Common Core, best completed with short passages such as the one provided here. The seven questions range from basic knowledge to inference.