How to Read and ViewA Worksheet for Squads toEngage in Close ReadingI.What is the purpose of reading and viewing closely (“close reading”) and what doesit involve?
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What am I seeing/reading?What is happening here?What is the context in which this is taking place?When was it written or produced?What is the form in which a story or idea or image is being conveyed?Critical thinkingdemands that we ask ourselves questions about the ideas, images,stories, and forms we are encountering in order to better understand the motivations,intentions, and consequences of certain arguments or viewpoints.Critical thinking deals with the “HOW” and the “WHY” ofa given object:How is this story or this set of ideas being communicated to me?How are these ideas being organized into an argument or claim about the world?Why has the author or creator decided to communicate a set of ideas in onespecific way, instead of another?Why am I seeing or reading about some things while others are masked,ignored, or overlooked?What are the consequences of these omissions?In other words, critical thinking demands that we ask what the purpose of a given a textis, and how its particular presentation of stories, ideas, forms, values, or perspectiveshave different effects on the world. Ultimately, when we think critically, we refuse totake the world at face value but instead always question what we see, hear, read, andengage with in a spirit of generosity and curiosity. Critical thinking is a way of caringabout the world.Sowhat’sthepointofallthisbrain-‐work?
The point of exercising close observation and critical thinking together is to developthe ability to make substantial and meaningful claims or arguments about the worldaround you. We call thisanalysis, or sometimescritique.