Content Makes Challenging Close Reading Material a Breeze

Written by the Kurzweil Blog Team

Fun Ways to Incorporate Media into a Close Reading Assignment
As an educator, how many times have you been surfing the net and found content (video, song, infographic) that you thought would be a fit for an assignment? The web is a rich resource for supplementing lessons with fun and informative add-ons. For close reading assignments, these additions can make challenging reading more accessible to students who struggle.

What is Close Reading?
According to A Close Look at Close Reading, close reading requires thoughtful, “critical analysis of a text that focuses on significant details or patterns in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text’s form, craft, meanings, etc." This is exactly the type of reading that can be perplexing for struggling students and those with dyslexia and ADHD. This is why tying fun and informative content to the reading assignment can be key for success.

Close Reading Can Be Fun
Suzanne Feit – with 35 years of experience with adaptive technologies – highlighted an easy way to use Kurzweil 3000 to accomplish the above strategy in a recent webinar, Close Reading: How to Help Struggling Students Succeed with the New Educational Standards. Watch Suzanne’s webinar on-demand.

Here is how it works. Suzanne embedded a link of They Might Be Giants: "Meet the Elements" YouTube video into a chemistry text that had been uploaded into Kurzweil 3000. The students completing the science reading assignment would engage in this media by clicking the embedded link at the appropraite point. They would then watch the quirky and amusing song song that is complementary to the lesson to deepen their comprehension of the elements in the periodic table. Take a look:

            Take the Close Reading Lesson Further
Suzanne was then able leverage the content of the video for the close reading assignment by creating a study guide and word bank based on the lyrics. After finding the lyrics online and copying and pasting them into a word document (that was then easily opened in Kurzweil 3000), she was able to identify the element names and block them out. This let her create an assignment based on the reading and the song in a matter of minutes. She also created a word bank that lists the names of the elements in a side window, allowing students to click and drag the words back into the blank spaces on the worksheet.

Sounds like a cool way to make close reading fun reading.

Watch Suzanne’s Close Reading Webinar On-demand This is just one the many techniques Suzanne reviewed to help struggling students have fun with close reading. You can watch the full webinar on-demand to see more tips from Suzanne, or visit us online to learn how Kurzweil 3000 supports the Common Core anchor standards.


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