A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Falling in Love with Close Reading

Lessons for Analyzing Texts--and Life

Christopher Lehman, Kathleen Roberts
Foreword by Donalyn Miller

ISBN 978-0-325-05084-3 / 0-325-05084-8 / 2013 / 152pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: 5th - 12th
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"Love brings us in close, leads us to study the details of a thing, and asks us to return again and again. These are the motivations and ideas that built this book."
—Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts

You and your students will fall for close reading. In Falling in Love with Close Reading, Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts show us that it can be rigorous, meaningful, and joyous. You’ll empower students to not only analyze texts but to admire the craft of a beloved book, study favorite songs and videogames, and challenge peers in evidence-based discussions.

Chris and Kate start with a powerful three-step close-reading ritual that students can apply to any text. Then they lay out practical, engaging lessons that not only guide students to independence in reading texts closely but also help them transfer this critical, analytical skill to media and even the lives they lead.

Responsive to students’ needs and field-tested in classrooms, these lessons include:

  • strategies for close reading narratives, informational texts, and arguments
  • suggestions for differentiation
  • sample charts and student work from real classrooms
  • connections to the Common Core State Standards
  • a focus on viewing media and life in this same careful way.

“We see the ritual of close reading not just as a method of doing the academic work of looking closely at text-evidence, word choice, and structure,” write Chris and Kate, “but as an opportunity to bring those practices together to empower our students to see the subtle messages in texts and in their lives.” Read Falling in Love with Close Reading and discover that the benefits and joy of close reading don’t have to stop at the edge of the page.

Read a sample from the book to learn more about Chris and Kate's close-reading ritual for students and for an annotated text that shows how it works. 

1. Close Reading, A Love Story
2. The Essence of Understanding: A Study of Text Evidence
3. A Way with Words: A Study of Word Choice
4. If You Build It: A Study of Structure
5. Through Your Eyes: A Study of Point of View
6. The Family Tree: Closely Reading Across Texts
7. I Believe in You: A Vision of Independence

In Depth

Download an infographic about the book: perfect for book study in groups or by yourself.

Download the Falling in Love with Close Reading study guide.

Watch highlights from Chris and Kate's webchat with Penny Kittle.

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"Nothing compares to seeing the success of the students. I informed them they are scholars and reminded them that this was hard work and they accomplished it! So many times, students are described as having trouble connecting their reading and ideas into their writing. But not today! Students I had planned on needing to provide extra support during the written response didn't need it. Honestly, I have never seen a group of students work so diligently and persevere through the lesson."
—Kara DiBartolo (@dibartolok)
Read this inspiring blog post from Reading Queen about how one teacher uses Falling in Love with Close Reading to engage kids with song lyrics, so they can transfer close reading skills to literature study.

PD Resources From Christopher Lehman


  • Invite Christopher Lehman to speak at your school, district, or conference through Heinemann Speakers.


PD Resources From Kathleen Roberts


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