Close Reading Workshop: Short Story

Characters and Conflict


An open book has flapping pages.

Close reading icon  Definition: Close Reading Workshop

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie more than once? If so, did you notice different things the second time? In this workshop, you will learn an approach to reading that will deepen your understanding of literature and will help you better appreciate the author’s craft. The workshop includes models for close reading, discussion, research, and writing activities. To develop an essential understanding of the text, you will read it multiple times, focusing on different aspects of the text each time. This is called multi-draft reading. Each time you read the text, you will use a different strategy and have a different focus. The multi-draft reading strategies and focuses are outlined in the following list:
  • First Read – Read independently to unlock the basic meaning of the text. See Comprehension: Key Ideas and Details on p. 4.
  • Second Read Focus on analyzing key ideas and details and the craft and the structure of the text. See Text Analysis: Craft and Structure on p. 4.
  • Third Read Focus on integrating knowledge and ideas by connecting the text to the Big Question. See Connections: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas on p. 4.

In the first half of this lesson, you will learn about how the Close Reading Workshop works when reading the short story “The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson.” In the second half of the lesson, you will have the opportunity to do the workshop on your own when reading the short story “The Wounded Wolf.”

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Online textbook icon Literature

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Online textbook icon Literature (HTML)


  • Support short story analysis with textual evidence
  • Identify a theme of a short story
  • Apply reading strategies to identify key ideas and details, analyze craft and structure, and make connections while reading
  • Analyze how elements of a short story interact

Key Words

  • character
  • climax
  • conflict
  • dialogue
  • genre
  • inference
  • narrator
  • plot
  • point of view
  • setting
  • short story
  • symbol
  • theme
  • tone