The CCSS ELA standards have a built in scaffold for critical thinking about text. The first three Reading standards address Key Ideas and Details (characters, setting, plot, main idea, etc.). The second three Reading standards address Craft and Structure (vocabulary, sentence structure, text structure), and the third three Reading standards address the Integration of Knowlede and Ideas (comparing texts, making connections, etc).
In order for our students to reach the third set of standards, we have had to peel back the layers of understanding of the text. So, our students read the same text several times. First, focusing on standards 1 - 3, then 4 - 6, then by the third read, they are ready to tackle standards 7 - 9 and have those critical conversations about the deeper meaning of the text.
There are some close reading exemplars available at
that you may be able to use for guidance. My second grade teachers did both the exemplar on The Wind and Because of Winn Dixie before beginning their own work.
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Thank you so much for this helpful information. I can't thank you enough!! Blessings and happy teaching. I will try this on our next story.... :)
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