Spotlight On Strategies (S.O.S.): Close Encounters

Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

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Close Encounters

SOS Big Idea

Consider expanding your conception of text to multimodal text, which includes audio, video, and images. Move your students away from thinking of digital resources as only entertainment, by helping them use media as text that can be close read. A close read allows students to engage in a text multiple times with the purpose of reading, analyzing, and reflecting on the material. By revisiting multimodal text, you help your students peel through different layers of information and develop a deeper understanding of the topic.

This strategy emphasizes the importance of repeated exposures to a short, information-rich, media selection (through more than one viewing and/or listening session). Consider incorporating a graphic organizer as a tool for recording information in an organized way.

SOS Steps

Materials: short media selection (an information-rich audio or video segment that is 3-4 minutes in length), chart paper, paper, writing utensils

  1. Introduce the topic that students will be learning by asking them to share what they think they already know about the topic. You could use a graphic organizer such as a KWL or a T Chart to record responses.
  2. Play a short information-rich video or audio segment you’ve previewed and selected. Ask students to briefly share what the video or audio is about. Confirm things they already knew and record pieces of new learning on the graphic organizer.
  3. Replay the video or audio. Pause at preselected points to discuss and define key vocabulary. Record these on the graphic organizer.
  4. Pose questions that require students to analyze the media more deeply.
  5. Play the media a third time. Encourage students to ask for the media to be paused when they see or hear evidence that helps answer the questions they’ve posed. Record the evidence on the chart paper.

SOS Sum It Up

Teach students about engaging in a text multiple times in order to close read it. Help them understand that each “read” is designed for a different purpose:

  • Read #1: overall understanding of topic
  • Read #2: vocabulary development
  • Read #3: deeper comprehension and analysis

SOS More Ideas

  • Use this strategy with two different media selections on the same topic. Use the graphic organizers to help students compare and contrast what they learn from the selections.
  • Have students write reflections comparing what they thought they knew about topic to what they’ve learned.
  • Use notes as a public record of information that has been presented at the beginning of a unit, and make them available for students as they learn more about a topic.
  • Use student-generated notes/graphic organizers as formative assessment tools.
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