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Close Reads with Mystery Pictures are going DIGITAL!!

Close reads have just gotten trendier. In true 2020 fashion, the Close Reading resources with Mystery Pictures that you know and love are now going digital!

Close reading strategies are taught to help students explore a text more deeply by digging into the text multiple times, but these aren’t just your typical re-reads. Close reads are about changing the lens through which students view the text. Each reading of the passage has a different purpose. Not only do close reads teach students strategies for reading informational texts, but they teach the important soft skill of engaging in multiple perspectives.

To learn more about the value of close reads and what my physical, in-person close-reads look like, check out my previous post: Close Reading in Your Upper Elementary Classroom

The whole idea of reading something more than once is often a bore for students, so I created a method for close reading that allowed students to engage in both the text and images associated with the text. These images called Mystery Pictures, allow students to self-check their answers and engage their brains in a different way. Mystery pictures are essentially ‘paint by number’ activities that allow students to self-check their work while answering questions related to the reading passages, which makes them a great option for centers or individual work.

To keep things fresh and make sure these engaging, close reading activities can transition into our new virtual environments, my close reading passages, reading interactions, and even the mystery picture coloring activities have gotten a digital makeover and are ready for the virtual classroom.



Interacting with Digital Close Reading Resources

Using Google Slides or One Note students are able to interact with their close reads right on their tablets or Chromebooks using edit mode.

One of the elements that make the Close Reading with Mystery Pictures so special is how the student interacts with the text through a code. Teachers can use the coding system provided in the resource which you see below, or they can create one of their own. If they choose to use the one in the resource, the digital version has the moveable pieces ready for students to use right in the resource.

Students also still get to color! Using their cursors and the toolbar, students still get to uncover the mystery picture aligned with the passage they are working on. 

Want to see all of these elements in action? Check out the video to see the full resource!

Easier to Assign

Although the physical versions of the Close Reading with Mystery Pictures are not difficult to prep, the digital ones are even easier. With the physical version, teachers need to print out, sort, and hand out the physical copies of the resource as well as provide students with crayons, markers, or colored pencils to complete the physical coloring, but with the virtual version, the documents are already sorted into differentiated documents that can be shared with students immediately. Plus, the students do all the documenting and coloring right on the computer, so they don’t even need a pencil!

More Ways to Use Close Reads

Close reads don’t have to just be individual assignments, they can be whole class activities, small-group activities, or even self-checking centers in the physical classroom or the virtual space. In a previous blog post, 9 Ways to Incorporate Close Reads Into Your Classroom, we cover these options and several more that you can consider as you begin implementing close reads into your classroom this year!

If you are ready to get started, click on the images below to see some of the DIGITAL and PRINT Close Reading with Mystery Pictures available in my store today!


Many of the physical products in the Fun in 5th Grade store have been updated in recent months, so don’t forget to check for updates to some of your favorites and see what is new by clicking here!

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