by Jim Burke
When we speak of “close reading” as it appears in Reading Standard 1 of the Common Core State Standards, it is worth considering the directions of the assignments we give our students and the exams they take where such key words as evaluate or trace are used regularly. The student who cannot distinguish between compare and contrast is unable to grasp what he or she is being asked to do. Thus it becomes animportant part of our work to teach them to identify, understand, and apply this knowledge to those words such as trace that appear on assignments or in directions that will determine our students’ success. A short list of such “Key Words,” which open the way forward for all students at all levels, might look like the image below, which you can download here.