Class Agenda #4 – Close Reading Intro

Opener- “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” A Tribe Called Quest   1990 (4:05)

  • Sit in the circle
  • Have out your notebook and pen
  • Write down the date and “Free Write for the rest of the song”
    • Think about YOUR Weekend, Your Week, Today, Tonight, etc..
  • Share-


Opening Reading-

Whip around 1- What’s one word or phrase that really stands out to you?

Whip 2- Explain why this word or phrase stood out- Could be an association, the phrasing, the connection, the truth, the lies, etc…

Mini-Lesson -Close Reading Strategies #1

Student Learning Targets:

  • I can identify key words and phrases in a text. 
  • I can work to interpret the meaning of these words and phrases in a text.
  • I can work to find and understand the hidden meanings of these words and phrases in a text.

What are the verbs and nouns in these student learning targets?

  • This is something called “Close Reading” – It means that you’re reading for understanding or pleasure, but that you’re also looking a little closer at the words and phrases to find the meaning and sometimes the hidden meanings in them.

Let’s Look At the Lyrics from the opening song- “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” by A Tribe Called Quest

Interpret for meaning-

“I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”

My mother went away for a month-long trip
Her and some friends on an ocean-liner ship
She made a big mistake by leaving me home
I had to roam so I picked up the phone
Dialed Ali up to see what was going down
Told him I pick him up so we could drive around
Took the Dodge Dart, a ’74
My mother left a yard but I needed one more
Shaheed had me covered with a hundred greenbacks
So we left Brooklyn and we made big tracks
drove down the Belt, got on the Conduit
Came to a toll, we paid and went through it
Had no destination, we was on a quest
Ali laid in the back so he could get rest
Drove down the road for two-days-and-a-half
The sun had just risen on a dusty path
Just then a figure had caught my eye
A man with a sombrero who was four feet high
I pulled over to ask were we was at
His index finger he tipped up his hat
“El Segundo,” he said, “my name is Pedro
If you need directions, I’ll tell you pronto”
Needed civilization, some sort of reservation
He said a mile south, there’s a fast food station
Thanks, senor, as I start up the motor
Ali said, “Damn, Tip, why you drive so far for?”

Class time (can be done with a partner)- 10 minutes

  • Look at the rest of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”
  • In the Margins, Interpret each line for what you think it means.

Share Out-

Closing Circle- How comfortable do we feel with this first step of close reading?


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