Using paired passages in the classroom

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Close reading, paired passages, text dependent questions...these all seem to be the latest BUZZ words in education right now.  I have done some research on these as I want to make sure I have a good understanding of what these mean and how they should look in my classroom.
Today we are going to take a closer look at paired passages.  What does it look like?  What is the purpose?  What is our goal in including these in our instructional minutes?

We dug deep today during reading groups and had a fun, engaging time with paired passages.  I love how my { cool } third graders still enjoy using the pipe cleaner magnifying glasses.

After my modeled instruction, guided and independent practice, students learn to:
  • respond to questions relating to the individual passages, then
  • respond to questions relating to the (paired) passages together
I've found that my students LOVE reading paired passages.  They enjoy reading 2 texts on the same topic.  Then we compare and contrast them.  We discuss the genre and why they know which genre each text is as well.  They respond to questions that lead them right back to the PASSAGES.  So they are re reading the text, finding evidence and showing proof that they have a very good understanding of both passages.

As you can see they are responding to text dependent questions:  They fill in a grid which shows that they understand and remember the genres.  They also have compare and contrast questioning for both texts as well.

I loved seeing them look back, take their time with their reading and even take notes on sticky notes.  Such great little reading detectives.

Using these paired passages helps students with the skills they need to compare and contrast fiction and non fiction passages.  Students are given the chance to make inferences, look back at direct text, respond and even write short answers.  Some of the passages offer venn diagrams when appropriate as well.  You will be pleasantly surprised to see your students hard at work with paired passages.  I was so proud of my students today!

If you are interested in giving it a try I have my Paired Passages pack that will help your students with this crucial skill.  I am also working on monthly ones as well.  Click on the photos to take you to them.

I hope you give it a try and see how paired passages work in your classroom with your kiddos.  I'd love to hear about it too!  


  1. Those pipe cleaner hand lens add just the right amount of fun to a challenging activity! Have a restful weekend Vicky!!

  2. You are too sweet Christina - thank you. Enjoy your weekend too! hugs, Vicky

  3. What a great resource for paired reading!!

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