Mae Jemison: Summarize using topic, main ideas & supporting details

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SWBAT summarize a complex text by using topic, main ideas and the most important supporting details

Big Idea

Summarizing does not equal retelling!

Cue Set

5 minutes

Scholars typically misunderstand the skill of summarizing for retelling.  This is because retelling is so highly targeted at the K-2 level and is commonly confused with summarizing.  Summarizing should be brief and not go on and on telling every little thing that happens in a text.  It is important to think about this possible misunderstanding early and plan for scholars to struggle a bit here.   

In this lesson, I display the picture of Walmart 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 by using the main ideas, topic and most important supporting details we discussed throughout the week. 

They have 2 minutes to write their summaries.  They share their summaries with a friend, I call on 2 friends from my cup to share and ask for 1 volunteer.  I do this so that scholars have a chance to collect their thoughts, then rehearse with a friend before possibly being asked to share with the whole class.  I call on 2 from my cup to keep scholars on their toes and to hold them accountable for sharing/writing the summary.  No one knows if they will be called upon to answer, and it is embarrassing if they are not prepared.  I call on a volunteer to allow friends who really want to share to continue to be enthusiastic about contributing to class discussion.  

Teaching Strategy

5 minutes

I ask scholars to review their notes from last week on summarizing.  I explicitly say, "Review your notes from last week on summarizing.  Review means: find my notes in my notebook.  Read them out loud to myself or a friend.  Visualize what I am saying/reading/hearing.  Remember what it means to summarize." I ask scholars to look back at old notes because it helps them to understand the purpose for note taking.  It also helps to teach them what they should do when they have notes, and how you can use them to help you re-learn or practice an old skill. 

The next slide in my SMART Notebook is the note taking slide from the previous week's lesson on summarizing.  We do a quick call-and-response review of the slide.  I say, "Summaries are...." and scholars say, "a shortened version of written material that gives the main points or ideas."  I say, "Summaries are important because..." Scholars say, "They help you recommend books, share information you learned and it helps you to understand the book better."  I say, "Non-fiction summaries should include..."  Scholars say, " Main topic, main ideas, most important supporting details, key words and phrases." 


Guided Practice

10 minutes

I ask scholars to take out the graphic organizers we worked on all week long.  I ask them to re-read the graphic organizer and skim the first section of Mae Jemison: Space Scientist.  I remind them that skim means, read the first few sentences of each paragraph to help you remember what the author communicated. 

I give scholars 2 minutes to review the text and graphic organizer. 

Now, I display 2 summaries of the passage Mae Jemison: Space Scientist.  I pre-plan these summaries.  One summary is perfect, the other summary retells rather than summarizes.  I read the summaries aloud to scholars as they are displaced on the SMART board.  I tell them to use sign language to tell me if they think summary A or summary B is stronger.  I do this as a quick check for understanding so that I can see if scholars are still hung up on retelling versus summarizing.  I then have them share with a friend which they think is stronger and why. 

At this point, I choose 1 person who said B and 1 person who said A to justify his or her choice.  Then scholars show me again which they think is stronger by putting up a sign language A or B.  Again, this provides me with the opportunity to check to see if scholars are still hung up on the retelling issue or not.  I record names of scholars who still have the misunderstanding to address in small group.

Independent Practice

65 minutes

During this time scholars rotate through 3 stations.  I have a bit more time for this today because the next lesson is a test.  Therefore, I want to have extra time so that my ELL teacher and I both see all scholars. 

I start the time by reviewing our checklist items for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day (a summary of the text).  This holds scholars accountable to their work thereby making  them more productive.  Then, the ELL teacher and I share the materials that our groups will need to be successful (i.e. a pencil and your book baggies).  Then, I give scholars 20 seconds to get to the place in the room where they will be for the first rotation.  The first scholars who are there with all materials they need receive additions on their paychecks or positive PAWS.

During the rotations for this lesson, my small group objective again today is to describe how details support main ideas with books that are on each group's highest instructional level.  Scholars read a portion of the same text (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group).  Then we how details support main ideas.

After the first rotation, I do a rhythmic clap to get everyone's attention.  Scholars place hands on head and eyes on me so I know they are listening.  Then they point to where they go next.  I give them 20 seconds to get there.  Again, scholars who are at the next station in under 20 seconds with everything they need receive a positive PAW or a paycheck addition.  We practice rotations at the beginning of the year so scholars know if they are back at my table, they walk on the right side of the room, if they are with the ELL teacher, they walk on the left side of the room and if they are at their desks, they walk in the middle of the room.  This way we avoid any collisions.    

At the end of our rotation time I give scholars 20 seconds to get back to their desks and take out materials needed for the closing part of our lesson.  Timing transitions helps to make us more productive and communicates the importance of our learning time.