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writing summaries
Old 11-08-2007, 03:19 AM
 
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Does anyone have a good resource for teaching 4th graders how to write good summaries? Thanks! :-)


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Old 11-08-2007, 04:53 AM
 
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We use the Making Meaning program and we use picture books. It has us stop after every few pages and ask kids, "Whtat's the most important idea here?" After 4 or so stops they have summarized the story. I ask them to go back to their seats and add a topic sentence, transition words, and a wrap up sentence. This seems to be working well for them. Teaching students to write summaries is actually very hard, because it involves many higher level skills; determining what's important, synthesizing information, and sometimes making inferences. The key is that they need lots of modeling in the beginning and then lots of guided practice.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:32 AM
 
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We use the:
Somebody __________
Wanted ___________
But ____________
So __________
and sometimes we add a
Then ________

Try having them fill in the blanks with details from the story. We do this in 2nd grade and up. It is a hard concept, but this has helped them focus on specific aspects one at a time. If you google somebody, wanted, but, so..., you will also come across some nice worksheets for it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:59 AM
 
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We do the same thing for fiction as Mrs. Gorf's class. It works well. For non-fiction we use who, what where, when, why and how.
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Somebody...wanted...but...so... and
Old 11-10-2007, 06:12 PM
 
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I use "Somebody...wanted...but...so.. ." which works very well for narratives. I found this addition for the end "and it all goes to show that..." It makes the students think about the big ideas in a story.

There's a description of the strategy and sample graphic organizer on page 13 of the e-book linked below (PDF).

http://www.stenhouse.com/pdfs/goodreaders.pdf


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Great ideas!
Old 11-11-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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Your ideas are terrific! I used the book A River Ran Wild and we did the summary as a class.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Thanks!
Old 11-13-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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We have been working on writing summaries and needed another approach. Thanks for the idea, it was perfect timing.
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Summarizing
Old 08-29-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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I use a story pyramid to help students learn to summarize. I first read "Zomo the Rabbit" to them and we did a pyramid together. It goes like this
line 1. name of the main character. ZOMO
line 2. two words that describe the main character small, clever
line 3. 3 words that describe the setting (s) sea, jungle, hill
line 4. 4 words that describe the problem asked gods for wisdom
line5. 5 words that describe 1 important event got scales from big fish
line 6. 6 words that describe another important event fooled lion to get his tooth
line 7. 7 words describing a third event was able to milk the old cow
line 8. 8 words describing the solution got wisdom but found speed was also important

I hope I have my story straight After we did this on the board (I used cut colored sentence strips to give the picture of a pyramid), we wrote one paragraph using our pyramid to summarize the story.
Zomo was a small but clever rabbit who wanted to have wisdom. After asking the gods, he had to perform 3 tasks. He had to get the scales off a big fish, get the tooth of a lion, and get the milk from a cow. Since he was clever, he was able to think of ways to finish all three tasks. He went back to the gods with the scales, tooth, and milk to prove he was worthy of wisdom. The gods told him that he did have wisdom, but he would also need speed, as the animals were after him.

I then put my students into partners and they read "Amazing Grace". They created their own pyramids and I let them write on overhead sheets and share with the class.

I have done this with 3rd and 4th grade. It is a great way for them to summarize stories from basal readers without telling the entire story. I hope this helps a little.
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Problem
Old 11-08-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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My "problem" with teaching summaries is that not every story has a clear problem... especially non-fiction text. What do you do in these situations?
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