"Eggcellent" Close Reading!

We are working hard at our close reading in our room, and I truly see my students become better thinkers and "discussers" about the texts we are reading.  I have been looking for more and more short texts to use with them...even first pages of novels, articles, and so on.

This week we are going to use a short story by Cynthia Rylant called "Slower Than the Rest"--you may be familiar with it.  It's a meaty story but its central ideas are still really accessible to fourth graders.

To shake things up a little bit since we are still in school when all the neighboring districts are on break, I thought we'd put a little fun into it!  I divided the text into 7 sections, each one to three paragraphs long.  I generated a list of open ended questions that I thought would fit this (and other) texts--none of them are specific to this text because I want them to start to internalize these questions and to have them in the back of their mind ALL the time when they read.

I have one or two questions for each of the seven sections of text, and I then cut them into strips and stuffed them into plastic eggs.

I tossed them all into a spring-y basket and we are ready to roll!  I put the questions for section one in pink, two in orange, three in yellow (thanks, Roy G. Biv) so I know which eggs to grab for each section.  

I am going to have the students work in pairs to read each section, then I will pull out the egg(s) that match, have a student read the question, let the pairs discuss, share out a bit as a whole class, then move on to the next section.  After we work through the text, I am going to ask my students to do some reflective writing about the story so I can see what "deep thinking" stuck with them.  It's nothing elaborate--just a fun twist on close reading.    Hope you all have a great week...stop back Wednesday for Math is Real Life!


  1. What a fun idea!!! It may also be fun to put some reading response questions in eggs & let the kids "hunt" for their response question each day. (Yes, it is hd the kids moving quite a bit during their 90 minute block but we need some excitement in our classrooms sometimes!)

    Any way you could make your questions available to us dedicated followers of yours?

    SUCH AN INSPIRATION! Love all that you do! THANK YOU!!!!

  2. What an innvoative way to integrate the season into your reading lessons! I love it and will definitely be borrowing the idea (and giving you all the credit for sure.) Thanks for sharing.

  3. Fun!! I almost wish we were in school for Easter so I could do stuff like this!! Last year I put my kiddies' math problem of the day in eggs and had them hunt for them in the morning. Never seen children so eager to do Math :) But that was the only time in the past 10 years that we've been in school over Easter - it was fun but I do like being on holiday at this time of the year. :) Hope your kiddies loved their activity. I bet they did!!