close reading lesson

I Taught A Great Close Reading Lesson. Now What?

Do you remember Fun Fridays? Or am I showing how old I am? This is the day at the end of the week to celebrate what we learned with a fun activity or, dare I say it… watch a movie! Fun Fridays have gone by the wayside, but I’m going to show you how to bring it back to celebrate the end of a close reading lesson.

Wrapping Up A Close Reading Lesson

close reading lesson

Because at the end of a week, we’re too busy or under too much pressure to take a break. Which we, as teachers have gotten used to, but what about our students? I mean, c’mon, my first graders were six and they deserved to have fun and take a break. 

But we also want to bring closure to the end of our close reading passage and  celebrate the end of our close reading week.

In this blog, you’ll have some ideas on how to wrap up and review your close reading lesson and have some fun while you’re doing it.

Ideas To Wrap Up The Week

It’s important to vary your end of the week activities, so your students are surprised each week and the activities aren’t getting stale. 

Even the most interactive and fun activities will lose their charm when you do them for several weeks in a row.

I like to plan my activities on a rotation so I only repeat them every 3-4 weeks.

Make A Large Poster About The Close Reading Passage

The first activity I have for you is to make a GIANT poster about your close reading topic and hang it in the hallway when you’re done.

But it takes a little planning though, so look at your reading passage and decide how you’d like to give your students directions on their poster.

Don’t give them crayons and set them free. For as much as you want your kiddos responsible for their own learning, you’ll need to give them some directions.

close reading lesson

Crafts For Your Close Reading Text

close reading lesson

Another idea is to make a craft. I used to make gingerbread men each December, glitter buttons and all. And the more the year went by, the less time I had to do seasonal crafts.

Here’s your chance to make a craft based off of your close reading passages. If you’re reading about the butterfly life cycle, make a butterfly out of pipe cleaners and tissue paper. 


Extra bonus points, if they write about their butterflies. 

I guarantee they will remember the topic more if they can take their crafts home to tell their families about them.

Conduct A Science Experiment

The third suggestion is to do a science experiment.

We normally don’t have time to do a hands on experiment, just like we don’t have time to do crafts. Honestly, we probably don’t have the time to teach science like we know we should.

So here’s your chance to use a close reading passage and turn it into a hands on activity at the end of the week.

Maybe your passage is on erosion, you can show your students a tray of soil and watch what happens when you pour water down the middle. Or if you’re reading about the life cycle of plants, you can grow bean seeds.

close reading lesson

Watching Videos For Your Close Reading Topic

close reading lesson

If you’re short on time, you might choose the last idea for a close reading wrap up activity. Head over to YouTube and let your students watch a short video or a small portion of a video.

You’ll want to preview it ahead of time, of course, and make sure that you save this until the very end, you’ll want the learning to come from the passage, not the video. 

You want the video to be something your students are proud to watch because they worked so hard and “Look, we learned that this week!”

Build Hype For Your Next Close Reading Week

Those four different kinds of activities can be recycled based on your reading passages. They’ll be fun and they’ll lead your students to be excited for the next close reading passages.

Every day that you’re teaching close reading, make sure you’re building that hype. Your attitude is going to be their attitude. You’ll create motivation on the last day of your close reading week when you can say, “See? Look how much we learned. Aren’t you excited to see what we’re doing next week?”

close reading lesson

Final Thoughts To Finish Your Close Reading Week

Make sure to plan out the extension activity at the end of the week to wrap up and bring closure to what you’ve read. This will build hype for next week. You can watch a quick video, do a science experiment, make a craft, or a giant poster to display in the hallway.

And you’ve met your goal of showing your students how to take the words from a passage to show what they learned. 


Related Articles

This FREE guide will teach you the close reading strategies that will make a close read lesson successful.

As an elementary teacher, it’s hard to adapt close reading successfully for younger readers. I didn’t have a manual when I began, but I wish I had an easier start. So I wanted to give teachers like you a head start when you’re teaching close reading to beginning readers.

With this free guide, you’ll know what to do to keep your kiddos engaged all week.

You will learn what supplies and materials you need for a successful close reading lesson. You’ll learn what to do on each day during your week of close reading. This was another struggle for me.
I read through the text passage with my students, NOW WHAT? 

You’ll have vocabulary ideas to boost your students’ mastery of words and phrases, imagine how great it would be to have time for vocabulary instruction! I’ll show you how it works!

Comprehension is hard for younger readers. They learn to decode words and now they have to understand what everything together means too?

With how much we have to teach in a week, the idea of “Fun Fridays” went out the window years ago. At least it did for me. I didn’t have time to do the fun crafts and activities that first-graders love and frankly deserve to do! I always thought this was so sad, and I wanted to bring it back somehow. So I devoted the last day of close reading to a fun extension activity about the topic of our close reading passage. I’ll show you how to find time for a fun activity, where your students are still learning in the FREE guide for close reading!

I also added the best classroom management tips I used during our close reading week, so you can actually teach your students, rather than correcting unwanted behavior or trying to keep your kiddos attention.

And best of all? I’ve added two close reading passages WITH lesson plans to get you started.

close reading large cover 1

When you download the FREE Guide For Teaching Close Reading To Younger Readers, you’ll learn:

  • How to teach your students to annotate.
  • Which supplies you need and which ones you don’t!
  • What you need to know about the best reading passages for close reading.
  • What to teach on each day of a close reading week.
  • How to improve your student’s vocabulary with close reading.
  • Techniques to improve your student’s reading comprehension skills.
  • Extension activities that take the topic of your close reading passage further.
  • Classroom management during close reading, including partner activities and effective transitions.

You’ll also get two close reading text passages with TWO WEEKS of lesson plans! 

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Rachael Hull

Rachael Hull

Teaching literacy and facilitating literacy stations has been a passion of Rachael's and she wants to help you gain confidence in your classroom!


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