Saturday, December 27, 2014

Close Reading with Oreos

Hello! It's Allison from Stuckey in Second! I wanted to share a popular post that I recently had on my own blog. It was a big hit and I heard from a lot of teachers after they tried it in their own classrooms. I can't take the credit for the idea, but it sure was a great one and I couldn't resist sharing it over here too for all the Who's Who readers!!

Enjoy!



What a fun day! My team and I heard about this awesome OREO cookie lesson from the third grade
teachers at our school and of course, since it involved OREOs, we had to try it!! It was just
one of those awesome lessons, better than I thought it would be. It made my whole day! (Even if the kids had been eating Oreos!)


For the full lesson, see Lindsay's store at Primary Polka Dots for her Close Reading lessons.

Here is how it went in my room today!!!
First, I passed out one cookie to each student. I did it in kind of a rushed way (on purpose) and told them to eat it AS SOON AS THEY GET IT. ("What!? Eat it before everyone else has one? This is weird...." All real comments.) By the time I was done passing them out, a few kids had finished their cookies. My plan was working perfectly. I encouraged a few kids to "Hurry, finish it up, we have to move on."

After some weird looks from the kids (Did I mention this was at 9:45 in the morning?) I had them all take out a Post-It note and a pencil. I asked them to write down what they just ate. ("Uh...okay...Mrs. Stuckey is losing it..." again, real comments.) A lot of the kids looked at me like I was asking a trick question, they were trying to write a complete sentence and use capitals and periods just to tell me they ate an Oreo. It was actually comical. Then I asked them to share with me what they ate, here were the responses:
Obviously, their responses were Oreo cookie, oreo, and one kid actually said Vanilla Wafer (gotta love it!) I didn't record that on the anchor chart because she was so embarrassed that she wrote that. But later, her mistake would be perfect for teaching the lesson.

Next, I passed out ANOTHER Oreo (could it be true!?), but I told them this time they could NOT eat the Oreo! I had them come down to the carpet with their Oreo cookie and I explained to them what they were going to do next.

  • Look at the cookie carefully.
  • Smell the cookie.
  • Think about the cookie.
  • Eat the cookie VERY slowly with your eyes closed, thinking about every bite you take.
  • Think about the texture and the taste of the cookie while you are eating.
What happened next was quite comical because they were literally SAVORING these cookies. I took a few pictures of them eating them with their eyes closed and I SO wish I could share them with you, but I won't.

When they finished, we did our "second read" of the Oreo. I had the categories in red written on the
anchor chart (while they were eating). I asked them to describe all of the parts listed. They couldn't stop talking! Look at how much they had to say after their "second read" of the Oreo!


The lesson that we all learned: It's okay to read through something fast the first time (like their first Oreo cookie), but if you do, you can only recall minimal information about it. If you reread it a second time and THINK while you are reading, you can recall a lot more! In fact, it might be smarter to do that the FIRST time!

My little lady that said she ate a Vanilla Wafer...perfect opportunity for my lesson! Sometimes we read through something so fast and with so little thinking that we literally DO NOT KNOW what we read! Right? She ate an Oreo and when she was done, had no idea what she had just eaten...just like our reading sometimes! 

They loved it! I loved it! They were excited about Oreos in the morning and asking if we could please do more reading lessons like this one! Ha. I was excited to show them a concrete example of how to Close Read! The rest of the day, we referred to our reading as our "first Oreo" or a "second Oreo." For example: Wait a minute, I didn't understand that. Let me REREAD and think about my Oreo (the text) one more time.

Try it tomorrow! You will love it too! So glad that this activity was introduced to me by some of the other amazing teachers at my school and I just couldn't wait to share it with you all!


Update: I've recently discovered that Lindsay, over at Primary Polka Dots originally had this great Oreo idea and has the full lesson included in her Close Reading Passage packets. It's amazing how such a great idea can be spread far and wide: across schools, school districts, and across the country. In the few short months since I have posted this blog post about using Oreos in my classroom to teach close reading, I have had such an overwhelming response. Thank you Lindsay for the great idea! You are touching the lives of children far and wide, without even realizing it!! 






34 comments:

  1. My kids are going to love this Allison! Thank you so much for sharing! Hilary

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    1. I hope so! I'm glad that I was able to share this post from my own blog and get it out to more people! So much fun and a good fresh start to the year with this lesson! :) Good luck!

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  2. My FRESHMEN will love this! Thanks for a terrific idea!

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  3. I have this in my plans for the week we come back. I saw it on your blog before and saved the idea. Can't wait to try it with my kids!-Lisa

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  4. I LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing - I'm definitely going to try this out!

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    1. Thank you ! I hope you are able to try it! :)

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  6. Hi Allison! I absolutely love this! My principal is a former reading teacher and has given a few workshops on close reading. I haven't really dove into it with my class this year, but am thinking this will be the perfect intro!! About how long did this lesson take you?? I am thinking of doing it for an upcoming observation!

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    1. Gosh, I'm not sure how long it took. Maybe 15-20 minutes? I had someone else post on my blog when I posted it that they did it for an observation! What an honor!

      Stuckey in Second

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    2. I'm using it for my observation on Wednesday!!!

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  7. This is awesome - our school is investigating ways for children to understand Close Reading and I can't wait to share this!

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    1. I'm so glad!!! Good luck!

      Stuckey in Second

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  8. I bought store brand oreos and the kids gobbled them down. They all thought they were oreos. I told them they were NOT oreos. They look horrified, "What did we eat?" hahahaha. They paid a lot more attention on the second serving!

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  9. What a delicious way to explain to you students why it's important to read things more than once!
    Can't wait to give this a try.

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  10. brilliant!! I will put this into the first week of school plans!! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Thank you for sharing! I was struggling to find a way to teach this to my middle school special ed classes. I have such a mix of students it's challenging to interest everyone. I think this will do it!

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  12. Thanks for the idea! I think I might try this with my seniors, but instead give them some salsa then have them pick apart the ingredients in order to understand the whole. Just like I'll have them do with literature!!

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  13. I cannot give food to my students, but I love this! Any alternate suggestions??

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  14. Use a picture! First read ask what is this a picture of? Second read say now take a closer look and what details can you give me?

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  15. I LOVE this idea! I'm teaching close reading to my enrichment reading group right now and I'm not sure they really get the point of it. Need to buy Oreos...

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  16. I LOVE this idea! I'm teaching close reading to my enrichment reading group right now and I'm not sure they really get the point of it. Need to buy Oreos...

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  17. Great activity! My 7th graders loved it. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Great lesson, very clearly gets an important message to the students. However, Oreos contain Palm oil. I'd like to share another important message:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKed5_eMyY0&app=desktop

    The lesson can be achieved using less harmful ingredients. I'm NOT criticising your post, just sharing an issue I newly came across. I will use you lesson. Thank-you

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  19. Love this lesson! Close reading is so important with the CCSS. This is a great lesson at any time in the year.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Shepherd's Shining Stars

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  20. Love this idea! Will have to save it for another year- have a student with milk and corn allergies this year.

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  21. I love this idea, but the link to the original lesson plan doesn't give an actual lesson plan. Any idea?

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    1. Hi Maureen, I'm sorry, but I just saw your question. This post was originally over on my own blog and I updated it there but I forgot to add that update here. My apologies. I've updated the post if you want to re-read it about the lesson from Primary Polka Dots.

      Update: I've recently discovered that Lindsay, over at Primary Polka Dots originally had this great Oreo idea and has the full lesson included in her Close Reading Passage packets. It's amazing how such a great idea can be spread far and wide: across schools, school districts, and across the country. In the few short months since I have posted this blog post about using Oreos in my classroom to teach close reading, I have had such an overwhelming response. Thank you Lindsay for the great idea! You are touching the lives of children far and wide, without even realizing it!!

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  22. This is perfect! My students have been begging for treats and this is the perfect way to incorporate them without losing the lesson. Thank you!

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  23. Brilliant idea. This reaches all forms of learning - visual, auditory, kinesthetic, intrapersonal! Can not wait to try it in order to explain the concept of close reading.

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  24. What a hoot! I keep practicing this lesson over and over...I had to have an excuse to power through two whole rows, don't you know? Now excuse me while I drink milk. From the jug. Oh yeah.

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