Author's Choices: Collaborating in Close Reading

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Analysis
CCSS: ELA.RL.11-12.3 ELA.SL.11-12.1a ELA.W.11-12.2b

Common Core State Standards


English Language Arts


Reading Standards for Literature 6-12


11th & 12th Grades


Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.7 MB)

Common Core State Standards


English Language Arts


Speaking and Listening Standards 6-€“12


11th & 12th Grades


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one on one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-€“12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others'€™ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well reasoned exchange of ideas.

b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.

c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.7 MB)

Common Core State Standards


English Language Arts


Writing Standards 6-12


11th & 12th Grades


Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.

c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.

e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.7 MB)

           In Partnership with


12 minutes


Use close reading strategies to analyze an author's choices

Questions to Consider

  • How does the "Interrupted Passages" strategy encourage deeper analysis?
  • What kinds of collaboration strategies do Mr. Olio and his students discuss?
  • How does Mr. Olio interact with his students as they work?

Watch all the videos in this series: Case Study of a Teacher: Engaging Students in Text Analysis.

Supporting Materials

  • Please sign in or sign up to download Supporting Materials
  • Author's Choices: Collaborating in Close Reading Transcript

  • Lesson Plan: Author's Choices.PDF

  • Student Works: Beloved-Section 3-QPA.PDF

  • Student Works: Beloved-Section 4-QPA.PDF

  • Handouts: AP African American Lit Unit 14.PDF

  • Handouts: Section 3 Passages Interrupted Rdg.PDF

  • Handouts: Section 4 Passages.PDF

  • Essays for Olio.PDF

  • African American Lit Unit Assignments.PDF

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