Close Reading of Informational Sources

Second Edition
Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8

Sunday Cummins

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
May 10, 2019
ISBN 9781462539390
Price: $82.00
258 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
May 14, 2019
ISBN 9781462539451
Price: $32.00
258 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
April 11, 2019
Price: $32.00
258 Pages
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258 Pages
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This widely used teacher resource and course text—now significantly revised with 75% new content—provides a flexible approach to fostering high-level understanding of a wide variety of informational sources in grades 3–8. Through the lens of a new three-phase lesson plan, the author explains how to teach students to think critically about sources, monitor for meaning, identify main ideas, explain key details, and make sense of unfamiliar vocabulary. Now in a convenient large-size format, the second edition is packed with practical features, including a detailed study guide and links to recommended online videos. The companion website allows readers to download and print a reproducible lesson planning template and quick-reference tools, as well as additional resources referenced in the book. Prior edition title: Close Reading of Informational Texts.

New to This Edition

“What an awesome book for teachers and reading specialists! Teachers often struggle with how to teach students to actively read, interact with, and synthesize multiple informational sources. I love the three-phase plan for learning in the second edition, as well as the suggestions for follow-up instruction. Teachers can use the Stages of Development rubric to determine where their students are on the continuum and how to move students further along. This is an essential tool for my teaching—it is filled with great resources, anchor charts, student work, and student-friendly explanations for the strategies taught.”

—Beth Herrig, MA, reading specialist, Indian Prairie School District #204, Aurora, Illinois

“Like the prior edition, the second edition demonstrates Cummins's ongoing research and her passion for working with teachers and students. Her firm belief in explicit instruction and the gradual release of responsibility is evident in her clear and concise lesson plans. Dr. Cummins's goal is to develop strategic readers, viewers, and listeners. This is accomplished by her three-phase plan for learning and matching template for lesson planning. This text is an excellent resource for professional learning communities and grade meetings for inservice teachers, as well as literacy classes for preservice teachers.”

—Harriet Y. Pitts, EdD, Department of Teaching and Learning (Emeritus), New York University

“In today's multi-informational world, students are challenged with a wide variety of sources that they must learn to read and understand beyond a superficial level. Cummins's second edition builds on the first by providing an expanded instructional roadmap, replete with close reading strategies for a variety of learning contexts. Each chapter has the feel of a workshop as Cummins guides teachers through a rich three-phase plan for learning with informational sources.”

—Richard T. Vacca, PhD, College of Education (Emeritus), Kent State University

Table of Contents


1. Strategic Close Reading of Informational Sources sample

2. A Repertoire of Strategies Needed for Close Reading

3. An Assessment-Driven, Three-Phase Plan for Learning

4. Selecting Sources

5. Introducing Sources and Teaching Students to Make Informed Predictions

6. Synthesis and Identifying Main Ideas

7. Monitoring for Meaning

8. Identifying and Explaining Key Details

9. Learning from a Source’s Visual Images and Other Features

10. Using Context Clues to Make Sense of Unfamiliar Vocabulary

11. Synthesis of Information from Multiple Sources

Appendix A. Lessons for Phase 2—Meet the Strategies

Appendix B. Study Guide

About the Author

Sunday Cummins, PhD, is a literacy consultant and author of professional books on assessment-driven instruction with informational sources. Formerly, she was Assistant Professor in the Reading and Language Department at National Louis University, before which she worked in public schools for 10 years as a middle school and third-grade teacher and as a literacy coach. Dr. Cummins teaches and learns alongside educators and students as a consultant and researcher with a focus on the power of informational sources to transform students’ thinking. She shares her experiences by presenting at state and national conferences, writing articles for numerous publications, and blogging regularly. Her website is


Teacher educators and graduate students, classroom teachers in grades 3–8, and literacy specialists and coaches.

Course Use

Serves as a text in elementary and middle grades reading methods courses.

Unpacking Complexity in Informational Texts: Principles and Practices for Grades 2-8 and Close Reading of Informational Sources: Second Edition: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8Special package offer: Close Reading of Informational Sources, Second Edition: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8 provides a roadmap for teaching close reading skills. Unpacking Complexity in Informational Texts: Principles and Practices for Grades 2-8 focuses on teaching kids about the different components and purposes of informational texts.

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Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2013
ISBN: 9781462507818
New to this edition: