Do Text-Dependent Questions Need to Be Teacher-Dependent? Close Reading From Another Angle

Diane Santori, West Chester University
Monica Belfatti, Elizabethtown College


The term close reading often conjures up an image of a teacher asking students several scripted questions that encourage them to reread and critically examine a text. The teacher then evaluates the students' responses. In this article, the authors offer another approach to close reading—one that places students' text-dependent questions front and center as they collaboratively discuss the text and construct meaning. The authors analyze transcript excerpts from small-group discussions of narrative and informational texts to demonstrate elementary students' abilities to ask and answer their own text-dependent questions as they engage in close reading.