By Theodore Taylor
A Close Reading Guide
This is a guide to a close reading of the classic, The Cay by Theodore Taylor. It was first published in 1969 and dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. It's about a young boy named Phillip who lives on the island of Curacao with his parents. When WW2 comes to the island, his mother insists they return to the states. However, their boat is torpedoed and Phillip is forced to survive on a small cay with a West Indian man and a cat.
Close reading will be an integral part of teaching with the Common Core. Students need to know how to be analytic when reading texts and poems. I have outlined the components of authentic literacy and what it looks like in the classroom. I formatted the unit as follows. It begins with an explanation of close reading and how to format a lesson. Then, there is a story summary, themes listed and character descriptions. After that, I created focus questions for each chapter. There are explicit gradual release formatted lessons sprinkled throughout. I included a close reading sheet for each of the explicit lessons. You could use the focus questions to create more close reading lessons using the blank templates or for class discussions. At the end, there is a blank sheet for planning and to use with close reading of different chapters. I hope your students enjoy it as much as my students did.
Awards for The Cay:
New York Times Best Book of the Year, Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Horn Book Honor Book, plus 6 more awards
"Thanks so much for this resource. The close reading activities really add a dimension of rigor to our literature study that aligns so well with the Common Core. "
"It has great activities that are common core ready!"
"This close reading activities are great support to the common core. Loved how the standards were listed."
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