Michelle Kwan: Summarizing Informational Text

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SWBAT summarize an informational text by restating, topic, main ideas and the most important supporting details.

Big Idea

Summaries are just like movie trailers - Keep it short & simple!

Cue Set

3 minutes

I display the picture of the fair that we used the previous two days.  I do this to continue to anchor the skill in something concrete and give scholars a chance to practice the skill of summarizing with something a bit easier.  I ask scholars to summarize the picture. 

I highlight that a strong summary mentions the main ideas & topic.  I expect that students will say something like, "This is a picture of a fair.  At a fair you might find rides, games and food.  You usually enjoy ferris wheels, funnel cake and can possibly win a teddy bear!"   I expect that they are able to re-state the main ideas of the fair (rides, games and food) and mention a few of the most important details.  Again, the idea here is to anchor scholars in the CONCEPT of what summarizing is.  

Teaching Strategy

25 minutes

I show scholars the trailer for "Hotel Transylvania" and ask them, "what makes this a strong summary of the movie?"

I help facilitate a discussion that leads scholars to say, "it highlights the most important parts, but doesn't give away the ENTIRE movie." 

I say, "just like movie trailers, summaries give readers the most important information."

Scholars take notes on the following:

Summaries are a brief description of the most important parts of a text.

Readers summarize to recommend text to others or to concisely state what they learned.

Strong summaries include:

-Topic & main ideas

-Most important details

You can also use the above notes as a hand out that scholars can glue into their notebooks.  This can help save time and can also be an accommodation for those scholars needing scribe.  

Guided Practice

5 minutes

As we continue studying Michelle Kwan: Heart of a Champion in our Houghton Mifflin text book, scholars read pages 136-137.  These two pages give a very quick background into figure skating.  In their table groups, scholars read two summaries (written by me) and use their notes to select which summary is stronger and tell why that summary is stronger. 

I wrote the summaries myself so that I could target student misunderstanding.  I anticipate that many scholars might think that the longer summary is stronger.  This activity is important to do so that I can diagnose misunderstanding and so that all scholars have a concrete example of what a strong summary looks like. Scholars who struggle a bit more will receive more support in subsequent lessons and during small group time.  


Independent Practice

45 minutes

During the independent rotation, scholars create a strong summary for the selection on Michelle Kwan.  During scholars' time with me, they summarize informational text that is on their level.  

As scholars work independently, my ELL co-teacher and I pull small groups.  We both work on a specific skill that relates to our target standard.  I focus on using main ideas and supporting details to create strong summaries.  The ELL co-teacher focuses on identifying main ideas and supporting details with the lowest group and the on-level group.  During the rotations, scholars are either with me, the ELL co-teacher or in their independent rotation.  The text we use during small group time is text that is on the group's highest instructional level.  This means that students can read and understand the text independently with a bit of support.  My white group is my on-grade-level group, pink above-grade-level and yellow is below-grade-level.  These groups are flexible and change quarterly as a direct result of iRI testing (this is a running record that we give each quarter).  

I use a planning document to help map out the small group objectives and activities for the week.  This helps me and my co-teacher to be purposeful in our instruction.  We meet once a week to map-out how the standard will be developed throughout the week, and then we create this document together.