Notice and Note Fiction Signposts

Notice and Note Fiction Signposts

Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading

Written by Kylene Beers and Robert L. Probst

Published November 2012

Fiction Signposts

This book and the strategies I’ve learned from it have changed the way I teach reading to my students. We have been covering the fiction signposts in class these last couple of weeks. So far, the students are really learning the signposts and seem to be enjoying them! We are working on identifying them in our books and in the world around us. The next step is understanding the reason these signposts are in a book (author’s purpose) and what it makes us think about.

What are they?

  • Contrast and Contradiction: When a characters says or does something that’s opposite from what he or she has been doing or saying all along. Ask yourself, why would the character do or say this?
  • Tough Question: When you’re reading and a character asks a really difficult question. Or, the character is faced with a difficult choice. This is an internal conflict. Ask yourself, what does this make me wonder?
  • Aha Moment: Suddenly a character (or the reader) realizes, understands, or finally figures something out. Ask yourself, how does this change things?
  • Words of the Wiser: A character (usually older and wiser) takes the main character to the side and gives him or her advice. Ask yourself, what is the life lesson and how will this affect the character?
  • Again and Again: When you notice a word, phrase, or situation happening over and over. Ask yourself, why does this keep showing up again and again?
  • Memory Moment: When you’re reading and the author interrupts to share a memory. Ask yourself, why is this memory important?

Here are some lessons, books we’ve used, and other resources. Please feel free to post comments about your experiences with the signposts or questions you have.


The Prezi we use to introduce each signpost is here.

Anchor chartFile_001

Read Alouds for Practice

Our read alouds: The Wednesday Surprise, Fly Away Home, The Empty Pot, and Going Home.



Teachers: How do you use the signposts in your classroom?

Parents: Do you have questions for me on how to help your child at home find signposts and understand meaning?

Students: Are you locating signposts correctly? Are you understanding their purpose? Can I help you more?



I am a middle school teacher who loves to read. I am part of the ARC-sharing group LitReviewCrew and a creator for the YouTube Channel Legit KidLit.

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