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Nov 18, 2014

Close Reading with Oreos {by Primary Polka Dots}




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.

Update: She now has the Oreo lesson available in her store! Click here!

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!! For Lindsay's Cookie Close Reading Lesson, click here



39 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I'm having such a hard time getting my kids to realize rereading is a very important part of being a good reader. This may just do the trick!

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    1. I hope so!!!!! I can't explain how much I loved it! :) I hope it transfers over... or we will keep eating Oreos! LOL

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    2. What a great "hands-on" activity for any learner, especially my special education learners! Thank you!

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  2. I cant wait to try this. Thank you for such an awesome, fun idea

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  3. Love it thanks so much for sharing.

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  4. I am so trying this on Friday...I can't wait!

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  5. I am saving this until after Thanksgiving since things are so crazy now but I might just have to practice a few times myself until then :-). I'm going to add a little bit about how we look really closely at things in science and don't notice every little detail the first time. This is a great idea! ~ Lisa

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  6. Such a fun idea! Gonba have to try this with my thirds!

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  7. Great way to make the point of rereading more visible and real for my special needs students!
    Sebrina
    Burke's Special Kids

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  8. I LOVE this!!! I know one particular student who would definitely benefit from this lesson.

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  9. LOVE THIS!!!! Thanks for sharing...I am adding this to my plans for next week.

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  10. Sooooo as my principal is planning on coming in to observe me for round two next week in reading, I just KNEW I had to use this as a formal lesson on Close Reading!!! I LOVE this. Thanks so much for sharing, Allison :)

    Ashley
    Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd

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  11. Hmmmmmm. I just started close reading this past week with my 5th and 6th graders and wish I had seen this! I am going to do a reinforcement using this activity. Thanks for the share !

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  12. I just found this on Pinterest. LOVE IT! Cannot wait to do this in my room!

    Kristin
    My Carolina Classroom

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  13. I love this! I love too that you gave them a focus for their second "reading" of the "text". So often kids think that when we ask them to reread, we're asking them to do exactly the same thing. This is a great lesson on how really, in our second reading, we find something to focus on.

    And a great illustration of the idea of first draft and second draft readings. Sometimes you need to eat that cookie quickly so that you can take the time to focus with the second one.

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  14. I really like this idea! I have already used Oreos in my classroom (procedural writing - How to Eat an Oreo) so I am sure my little Grade 1s will be excited to see the Oreo reappear!
    I often hear - why are reading this story again - now I'll have an anchor to remind them why - remember the Oreo? Can't wait!

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  15. I am thinking that even my high schoolers would love this!

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    1. I teach 9th graders, and I was thinking about doing this with them next week. Did you do it with your high schoolers? Did you implement and modifications?

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  16. I love this idea! I'm studying to be an Elementary teacher and am gathering great ideas for my classroom someday. I am definitely holding onto this one! I think it is so important to give the students an illustration so they have something that makes the concept stick for them. I think this activity does a great job of doing that and also really opens their eyes to exploring being more observant in everyday life as well. Super cool idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Doing this tomorrow with my 7th graders!! Love this idea!! :)

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  18. This is a great idea! I am moving from second to third next year and I can't wait to do this lesson. My second graders have been close reading since first grade but this lesson will bring new meaning to them. I just shared this with our literacy coach as well.

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  19. This is a great idea! I am moving from second to third next year and I can't wait to do this lesson. My second graders have been close reading since first grade but this lesson will bring new meaning to them. I just shared this with our literacy coach as well.

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  20. I teach 8th grade science and I think this would be just as beneficial to get my students to look carefully at the detail of things. So often, they think they know how a lab should turn out, so that's the only thing they look for. This can get them to realize that they need to pay attention to the smaller details along the way as well!

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  21. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! I will definitely be doing this with my students this year!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Did this lesson with my fifth graders, they loved it!

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  23. Love this! I am going to do this with my third graders :0)

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  24. Fabulous! To have a concrete reference for what it's like to close read is an incredible tool. I'll be doing this with my sixth graders in the coming weeks.

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  25. I'm going to try it next week and just shared it with my fellow fourth grade teachers.

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  26. I wanted to point out something that my wonderful teacher friends might not be thinking about. Remember that there are more and more students with food allergies and diseases nowadays that would preclude them from participating in an activity such as this. When we use food-based activities in our classes we run the risk of two things happening: one, a student will feel excluded if they cannot partake of the same activity as the other kids; and two, we very well might send a child to the hospital or worse. My belief is that if every one of my students cannot participate by eating whatever I offer, it is discrimination, even if they bring their own food that they can eat. I suggest looking closely at class lists (medical histories), reading food labels AND contacting the manufacturer to make sure those labels are accurate before doing these activities.

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    1. Jennifer, I think this is a great point. However, there are ways to make it work. As the mother of a child with a gluten sensitivity there are always other foods that would not compromise an allergy. If I had a student in my class with an intolerance, I would just choose a different food or one that is compliant with their needs.

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  27. Which packet on Primary Polka Dots TPT store has this lesson? I'd love to purchase it, but she has so many choices. Thank you!!!

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    1. I'm sorry Carrie, I just saw this comment! I had started to get a bunch of SPAM comments on here and it got lost in the midst of them! I believe that she has it in all of her CLOSE READING sets. Her close reading passages are great and the kids love them!

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  28. I'm sorry Carrie, I just saw this comment! I had started to get a bunch of SPAM comments on here and it got lost in the midst of them! I believe that she has it in all of her CLOSE READING sets. Her close reading passages are great and the kids love them!

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  29. I'm working on my formal observation lesson for Tuesday right now. I'm planning on using this lesson and pulling from the Close Reading sets by Primary Polka Dots. I can't wait to try it. I just hope my over-hyperactive kids don't go to crazy with the sugar at 8:15 in the morning! I think they should hold it together for one hour!

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  30. I did this lesson today with my 5th graders. It was amazing! At the end one of my little peeps says I think I get why we did this...the first time we just crammed it in, the second time you made us think and enjoy it...during my second Oreo I got all tingly inside! Let's just hope it stays with them as we continue to work on close reading. :)

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    1. Oh this is so good to hear! I'm glad it worked so well! Awesome!

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  31. This is a great idea! Thanks for the tip!

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