Guided Reading

Guided Reading
Guided Reading



Penguin Close Read {a freebie}

Hey friends!  I told you before that we are just starting to venture into the close read "realm."  This was our fourth close read this year.  We had previously done Pumpkin Town by Katie McKy, The Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant, Reindeer {A Day in the Life} by Katie Marsico, and now Penguins by Anne Schreiber. 

I am no expert and only know what I've learned from training and my own research!  Close reading is rather intriguing to me.  I mean we read books to our kids everyday and ask them meaningful questions...that's all there is to it right?  Well, I compiled a little "what is close reading?" guide!  See it below....

So after reading through what  a close read REALLY is I knew that reading a story to my students asking them questions didn't quite qualify for a close read.  I really love the last line...we don't have to change what we teach to have a successful close read....we just need to chance how we teach it! 

The book we used this time was really GREAT!  I am no way affiliated with Scholastic...I just love the book!  I grabbed in on and it is a storia ebook.  The book is filled with so many interactions, videos, definitions, and it has the option to have it read aloud also.  You can click the snap shots below to view the book on Scholastic.

Below is snap shot of the book being displayed on the Smartboard!  This is one of the interactive videos.

Included in the FREEBIE below is a detailed lesson plan for the Penguin close read!

Below is a review of how each day looked for my close read through out the week.  We recently learned more about the importance of having an essential question or essential questions to focus on through out the week.  Also, the importance of the student's knowing and understanding the essential question through out the week as well.  We decided to choose two  two essential questions- one for text features and one as more of a real life connection question.

(1)  How do photographs help our understanding?
(2) Can we have a pet penguin where we live?

Student examples:
I chose to display a photograph from the book on the Smartboard where a mother penguin was defending her baby penguin from a Skua.

The baby is scared of the skua and the skua is scared of the penguin.

The penguin is trying to protect the baby penguin.

Student examples:

I can not have a penguin because it is too hot.

I can not have a pet penguin because it has to live under the equator.

I can not have a penguin because there is no ocean.

 I also extended the close reading to my small groups!  We read arctic small readers, worked on vocabulary terms, and wrote nonfiction stories about the animals within the texts.


 We worked on recording vocabulary terms.

Throughout the week we also extended on the close read during our content study!

The activitie and SO MUCH MORE come from these jammed packed units below!  I was so impressed with the quality of nonfiction material in both packets!  



We also have to have a little craftivity to along with it too!  We made these adorable penguins which are a freebie from Miss Kindergarten


I have combined all of the above material, blackline masters, and more in this FREEBIE packet below!


  1. Thank you for this really great post, Tara. :)

  2. Thanks so much for the close read freebie! We are just starting to use close reads and this is a fantastic resource! It will be great to use during our unit on penguins.

    Luv My Kinders

  3. Thank you! I love this idea. I was wondering where you usually get your nonfiction readers? I saw the penguin one on scholastic but is that your only resource? We are trying to build up our nonfiction section! Thank you again.
    Andrea :)

  4. Great information. I am going to try this with my class. Thanks!

  5. This is the best explanation of close reading I have seen!!! You did an awesome job on this blog post!


  6. Just wondering if you were going to make a non fiction close reading packet?

    1. Yes, I am currently working on it now! It will be sharks, weather, butterflies, dinosaurs, and safari! :)

  7. Thank you for the freebie! It was so helpful! I always love everything you make!