12-01-2007, 06:25 AM
I teach summary for fiction and nonfiction seperately. I also break out fiction summary for short passages and books.
I use the "Step Up to Writing" idea of an IVF topic sentence. I is identify, v is Verb and F is finish it. The Identify has you name what you are summarizing (The story, entitled Back to the Zoo by Fred Smith) verb (describes) Finish it is the main idea of the entire passage (how Bobby became a zookeeper).
The IVF topic sentence is the commonality between all summaries.
For short fiction passages students now find the main events that happen in the beginning, middle and end of the story.
For novels students find the main problem, 3 events, climax and resolution.
For nonfiction students find one main idea in each paragraph depending on the length of the passage. Sometimes we review the passage first and break it up into smaller segments, perhaps by subtitles.
Summaries do not need concluding sentences.
Lesson 1: Those are my expectations for summary. Now to teach it takes some time. First I start with short passage fiction. Students make three columns labeled IVF. We start to write IVFs with books we all know. We do it whole class. After some practice, they write their own IVF with their current reading book.
Lesson 2: (guided practice) Read a passage with the class. Write an IVF for the passage in the 3 column graphic organizer. The organizer also has 3 boxes (beginning, middle, end). We fill it out together with short phrases in the boxes. Take away the passages, so they have to write in their own words. Now have them write the paragraph.
Lesson 3: (more guided practice) Read the passage aloud whole class and let students share and discuss the main idea of the story. Also discuss what would be considered the Beginning, Middle, End. They now complete the graphic organizer and write the paragraph.
Lesson 4: After grading Lesson 3, return and share the evaluation
Lesson 5: Independent practice on a new passage.
I hope I didn't overwhelm you! That was just what I do to teach fiction passages. Once they master fiction, it is just a short transition to learning book summaries and nonfiction. The trick is to continue to practice the topic sentences whenever an opportunity arrives.