Planning & Facilitating a Close Reading

There has been much talk about raising the complexity of the texts students are reading. However, rigorous reading isn't just about the text selection. It's also about targeting multi-faceted, deep thinking during reading. This online course will help teachers plan and facilitate a meaningful close reading in five steps.



  • Dissect the reading standards for the close-reading expectations.
  • Identify how and when close reading should be incorporated into the curriculum.
  • Learn how to assess a text's complexity beyond simply looking at its reading level.
  • Plan text-dependent questions that keep students rooted in the text.
  • Recognize the role of pre-reading/background-building in close-reading experiences.
  • Examine a variety of reader tools and technology that allows students to annotate print and digital texts.
  • Acquire prompts and cues to help students address their own confusions and misunderstandings about the reading.

When you complete the course, you'll be able to:

  • Determine if a text is complex and worthy of a close reading.
  • Introduce close reading to students in a variety of kid-friendly ways.
  • Prepare a set of text-dependent questions that keep students rooted in the text and follow the same sequence as standardized reading assessments.
  • Teach students ways to track and annotate the journey of their thinking.
  • Facilitate text-based conversations that require textual evidence.

Top questions teachers ask about Planning & Facilitating a Close Reading:

  • What is close reading and how is it different than what I've always done?
  • How do I go about selecting appropriate texts for a close reading?
  • How can I introduce complex text into my curriculum when I have so many struggling readers?
  • How long does close reading take and how often do I plan for it?
  • What's a text-dependent question? Is there a list of such questions? How are these questions different than QAR (question-answer relationship)?

Kristina provides the answers to these questions and many more!


Your Instructor

Kristina Smekens
Kristina Smekens

A full-time literacy consultant, Kristina has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with practical, demystifying strategies for teaching reading and writing.

As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards. She shares those strategies with teachers across the United States and beyond through on-site school trainings, regional seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple— for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and classroom-tested strategies that work. Well known for offering innovative ideas, Kristina has created more than 50 “Smekens Originals,” a compilation of books, guides, and classroom tools designed to help teachers implement best-practice literacy strategies. Among the most popular of these resources are her best-selling books, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2, and Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades 3-12.

You are welcome to contact Kristina directly: kristina@smekenseducation.com.



Contact Smekens Education toll free:

(888) 376-0448

What teachers say about this course

"I am excited to go back to my classroom and implement what I learned with my 5th graders. Bumping up the complexity of my text is a must. Your enthusiasm is contagious!" Amy McIlhargey Teacher, Grove City Christian School, Grove City, OH

"Been at this education for over a quarter of a century... NEVER been in a (training) with such action-packed, fun-filled USEFULNESS!" Tim Perry Teacher, Seymour High School, Seymour, IN

"Kristina just takes the guess work out of everything to make it ALL make sense!" Nikki King Teacher, Union Furnace Elementary, Logan, OH

"Kristina was fantastic! She was very intentional in her approach to teaching the 6 Traits and making it interesting for all learners! I learned new and exciting strategies to improve student writing." Jenae McKnight Instructional Coach, Lake Ridge New Tech Schools, Gary, IN

"I love the way Kristina presents the information with so much enthusiasm. I love how she builds on what she's taught before." Kristen Smith Teacher, Gilmer County High School, Glenville, WV

"After 33 years of teaching, I still am drawn back into Kristina's workshops because they are research-based, standards-focused, and very interactive." Katie Cadle Teacher, Paoli Community Schools, Paoli, IN


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course can begin at any time.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrollment, students have access to the content for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the course during this time.
Can I share my course with colleagues?
Sorry, course sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.
Can I get continuing education credits?
Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 5 hours of professional development for each course. A Certificate of Completion is provided to participants when they complete all aspects of the course.
Can I earn graduate credit?
Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, educators who enroll in two eligible webAcademy courses simultaneously can earn three hours of nationally-accredited graduate credit for just $375. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, for details, (888) 376-0448.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.
webAcademy Inquiry

webAcademy questions? Let's connect!

Form View Counter

This course is not open for enrollment.