Deconstructed Close Reading consists of a five-day formula that can work with any informational or fictional text, on any topic, and in any grade level. What makes this approach to close reading unique is that it is a sustainable living process that is student driven. Trust the process, do whatever preparation is needed, hand over the keys, and enjoy the journey. You will not be disappointed.
I fully agree with Einstein that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’
In order to implement deconstructed close reading in your classroom, you need to find a piece of text that supports your specific content area. I tend to lean towards social studies and science texts, along with historical primary sources and pieces of classic literature that are outlined as core requirements for my grade level.
Once you have chosen the text you would like to use, you need to further identify an appropriate ‘chunk’ of the text to focus on. A good rule of thumb is no more than 1-page front and back. More than that and your students won’t have time to truly delve into the text. You can use texts found within your district’s basal, you can use articles found online, classic literature, whatever works for you and your requirements! Choosing a text will easily be the most difficult part of this formula, but if you find solid passages that you can use multiple years than it is well worth the effort.
The only other physical items your students will need for the week are a piece of lined paper and a pencil. Here is where that beautiful part comes back; between the 1-2 page piece of text, a few pieces of lined paper, and an hour or two of preparation, you will have students solidly engaged for 10-20 hours a week, every week. I kid you not.