Workshop Wednesday: Beginning Close Reading Strategies

Happy Wednesday! :o)

Time to share how workshops are going in your room! I think at this point, everyone is back in school…? I think? So no excuses! Come link up! :o)

The topic for the rest of September is: Getting Workshop Started in the Classroom. Please write about only one workshop in your post so that you can link it up accordingly below, and then please come back each week to share! (In other words, if you use Reading, Writing, and Math Workshop and you want to share about all three, please link up in three different weeks-or more if you’d like!!)

Today, I’m going to share how we have started our close reading strategies in Reading Workshop. I am using a combination of these two resources:
Jennifer Findley’s Close Reading Mega Kit

I decided to go ahead and tackle Greek Mythology and context clues first using these strategies. {My state standard: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).} The students do not have to “learn” Greek Mythology… they have to be able to understand how to read them and understand the allusions, and being exposed to some myths will help.

I figured starting first with the myth that is ACTUALLY mentioned in our standard was a good way to go. Before we read the myth of Heracles together (FYI: his Roman name is Hercules… I guess “Heraclean” didn’t have the same ring?!), I played this video on YouTube:

We talked about how Disney wanted to portray Hercules in this movie trailer. Many of them had seen the movie, too, so that helped. They were able to tell me he was a hero, he was strong, he had to do “weird” and dangerous things… they already had an idea of who Heracles/Hercules was before we read the myth! This helped them identify the theme pretty quickly, too.


As we read the story of Heracles together the first time, the students circled any words they found interesting, unusual, or were unsure about. The second time we read it, we used context clues (and Ms. Ivey’s brain when there weren’t context clues LOL) to figure out what the words they circled meant and how they were important to the myth. We also spent some time talking about the word, “Herculean.” It was not in the story, but we talked about when we might use this word, and who we might describe using the word. This was when I explained the meaning of an allusion. They seemed to really understand!

We’ll see how the rest of this week goes… we’ll be reading about King Midas and Pandora’s Box.

How are things going in workshops for you? Please link up and let us know! Don’t forget to peruse the link ups from past weeks as well- there are some great ideas and resources that you could easily incorporate into your workshops, even if you’ve already started!

PS Don’t forget to enter My Favorite Things Giveaway!!! 🙂