Holiday Close Reading Lessons PDF, Grades 3–8

The holidays can be a challenging time to keep students focused. They are usually thinking about anything other than school. This is why I embrace the holidays and bring them into my instruction.

holiday close reading lessons pdf


Get ahead of the holiday hype that is sure to sweep through your classroom! Download a free Holiday Close Reading Kit now.

Read on to learn the strategies and components of this lesson plan.

The Purposes for Multiple Reads

Two critical components of close reading lessons are 1) give students a purpose for each read and 2) provide text-dependent questions for the students to analysis what the text means at a deeper level.

1407-3_CRCT-SE_Gr7_08_@2XAs I created my holiday close reading lesson plans, I followed the approach established by Diane Lapp, Barbara Moss, Maria Grant and Kelly Johnson, who “literally” wrote the book on close reading (Turning the Page on Complex Texts: Differentiated Scaffolds for Close Reading Instruction)! These experts are also the authors of Sadlier’s new program, Close Reading of Complex Texts. Both the book and program focus on three purposes for each multiple read. These three purposes ensure that students use each multiple read to digest and deepen their understanding of complex text. The three purposes of multiple reads are:

Purpose for 1st Read
Determine what the text is about.

Purpose for 2nd Read
Focus on the language used by the author and the structure of the text.

Purpose for 3rd Read
Look for meaning by making inferences.

Text-Dependent Questions After Each Read

Text-dependent questions should be thoughtfully prepared and written at an appropriate level of complexity to challenge the reader to understand the text in the most meaningful way possible.

After the first read, students gain a general understanding of what the text says. They should respond to broad text-dependent questions, such as, What is this text about?

After the second read, students deepen their understanding of how the text works. These questions have them analysis the language and the organizational structure used to convey information and describe experiences.

After the third read, students should synthesize the insights uncovered in earlier reading and make inferences about the author’s positioning, or what the text means.

Using Holidays to Engage Students in Practicing Close Reading Skills

Don’t let the approaching holidays take away from student learning! Use the time of year to engage students in practicing close reading of complex text with a holiday theme. Download a Holiday Close Reading Kit filled with activities that will have students analyze seasonal texts by answering text-dependent questions!

Below is a sample of an activity included in the kit.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

Closely read the poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. Each time for a different purpose. After each read, answer the text-dependent questions to gain a deeper meaning of the text.

holiday-close-reading-activities-worksheetsPurpose for 1st Read
Determine what the text is about.

Text-dependent questions for the 1st Read

  • Who are the characters?

  • Where does the action take place?

  • What happens while St. Nick is in the house?

  • How does St. Nick get back up to the roof?

Purpose for 2nd Read
Focus on the language used by the author and the structure of the text.

Text-dependent questions for the 2nd Read

  • What is the mood of the poem?

  • How does the narrator describe St. Nick? How does this description make you feel about him?

  • What words or phrases are repeated? How does the repetition add to the text’s meaning?

Purpose for 3rd Read
Look for meaning by making inferences.

Text-dependent questions for the 3rd Read

In Summary

Use holiday texts to motivate and engage your class. The Holiday Close Reading Kit is something your students will love! This kit can be used with almost any grade level.

Download the kit today enjoy the holidays!


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