This module is for Grades: 9-10 Welcome

Close reading - the careful and purposeful independent rereading, intense analysis, and critical examination and interpretation of a text - asks you to engage with a text that is complex and examine its meaning thoroughly and methodically. It helps you to engage in what you are reading, and encourages you to read and reread deliberately. It will prepare you for success in college and career. With practice, you will learn how to better focus on what the author is trying to communicate and the meaning of the words, and bring some of your own ideas and connections to the text. 

The skill called "close reading" is fundamental for understanding and interpreting complex literature based upon the words themselves. A close reading does not stop there; it embraces larger themes and ideas evoked and/or implied by the passage itself.  It slows you down, allows you time to reflect on and interpret difficult passages, and keeps you focused on your purpose for reading. With close reading, you thoughtfully and critically analyze details and patterns in a text in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text.  

In this activity you will learn and practice close reading strategies to help increase your understanding of how to approach challenging and complex texts. This skill will pay off for you in all of your high school classes and beyond.

Module Objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Employ close reading strategies to attack a complex poem/passage.
  • Close read a passage from a literature text.

high school girl reading a book

Close reading strategies help you to understand and interpret different kinds of literature.


  • Understand the purpose in reading.
  • See ideas in a text as being interconnected.
  • Look for and understand systems of meaning.
  • Engage in a text while reading.
  • Get beyond "surface" reading or skimming.
  • Formulate questions and seek answers to the questions while reading:
    • Analyze short passages and excerpts.
    • Focus on the text itself.
    • Reread deliberately.
    • Read with a pencil.
    • Notice things that are confusing.
    • Discuss the text with others when possible.
    • Respond to text-dependent questions.