Saturday, June 8, 2013

Close Reading

The big push in my school right now is close reading. My principal has been encouraging the early childhood teachers to introduce the idea of close reading to our kids, as young as Kinders, to better prepare them for the state exams.

I for one thought this was a bit of a challenge and wasn't sure my kiddies would understand or get much out of a close reading. Boy was I pleasantly surprised by what happened last week!

Each week we study to pieces of music. We have been focusing on The Beatles and last week we were listening to and reading "Good Day Sunshine" and "Octopus's Garden." I was trying to find parts of one of the songs that would engage the kids in a good conversation. I decided that I would hold a discussion and close reading of "Good Day Sunshine" and talk about leisure time.

First things first is I printed just these lyrics and made them nice and big on the overhead (man a smart board would have been awesome to have for this lesson!) Here are the lyrics I put up.

We take a walk, the sun is shining down,
Burns my feet as they touch the ground.

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.

And then we lie, beneath a shady tree,
I love her and she's loving me.
She feels good, she knows she's looking fine.
I'm so proud to know that she is mine.

Once the lyrics were up I introduced my kids to the idea of leisure time. I explained that leisure time is a period of time that you are not working or at school or doing homework. It's a time when you are free to have fun and play or do the things you like. The kids really seemed to grasp this new term. After a lively discussion of what leisure time is and some things they might do and what they think leisure time is I turned on the overhead and I read through the lyrics once. Then I said to the kiddies that i was going to read the lyrics one more time and they had to listen for text evidence of something the character in the song did for leisure. They were so excited about this activity they were practically jumping out of their carpet squares to answer my question! They did a great job and were able to find the lines "we lie, beneath a shady tree" and "We take a walk." 

Not only were my kiddies able to find text evidence of leisure time but then they could back up their text evidence by explaining what leisure time was. I was super-dee-dooper proud of my kiddies!!

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