Indian Grey Mongoose - © eMammal

eMammal: Close Readings on Predators, Invasive Species and Conservation

You will incorporate literacy into the eMammal project by guiding students through a series of close-reading exercises. Close reading is a strategy to enable deep comprehension of complex text. For this lesson, you may choose from three texts of differing complexity. “Mongoose on the Loose” is the simplest. Use this text with young or developing readers. “Wildlife and the Land” has an average text complexity appropriate for middle-school learners. Use this with students who are currently reading on grade level. “The Return of Apex Predators” is highly complex. Use this with advanced classes or with individual students who are reading above grade level. The lesson requires multiple read-throughs of a single piece of text over consecutive class periods. Students will complete a different graphic organizer each time. Each read-through is done with a different purpose, preparing students to engage in meaningful conversation and profound comprehension. Besides increasing their understanding of the content, your students will benefit from the process itself.


Lesson Plan


  • Students will determine the central idea of an informational text.
  • Students will track the central idea’s development over the course of an informational text.
  • Students will provide an objective summary of an informational text.
  • Students will use context clues to determine the technical meaning of words.

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Curriculum Alignment

Common Core Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.2 — Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.5 — Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.