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Summarizing & a Freebie

I have spent the last two weeks working on summarizing with my students.  Many of them struggle to write complete sentences so the thought of reading a book, understanding it, picking out the most important details, re-writing them in new words, and writing in complete sentences was more than a little overwhelming for them.  

I started by reading a book together and discussing what a summary is.  Then I asked them to verbally summarize the story for me.  As they spoke, I typed.  As expected, the first attempt lacked details.  That was labeled as a level 1 summary.  I questioned the group to add some more details.  With a little tweaking, the level 1 summary became a level 2 summary.  We continued this until we also had a level 3 and 4 example.  I printed out each summary with room for a picture above it.  We added pictures to match the level of the summary.  

After this activity, the students really had a clear idea of what a level 4 summary looks like, how to write it, and what to include in it.  To help them even further, I gave them a copy of my Somebody organizer (which you can grab for free by clicking on the picture of the organizer below).  I gave the students another book in the same series (a Reading a to z book - The Hoppers) and had them try a summary on their own.  Kids referenced the example summaries while writing.  
Their summaries turned out great!  They were not missing any major details (thanks to the organizer) and they added a few extra details because they really wanted to have a 4 star summary.  

A students independent summary.

Our summary board with the 4 examples and some of the kids finished work.
2 comments on "Summarizing & a Freebie"
  1. I have been working on this with my class this past week, and wasn't sure where to go from there. Since we'd already done a picture rubric, they understand the 4 levels. You just gave me my mini-lessons for this upcoming week!!! I love the idea of making the rubric and encouraging them to add more details to make it a 3 or 4.

  2. Thanks for commenting! It's always nice to know when people can use your ideas!


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