"Don't Forget Your Jacket" Summarizing Reading

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SWBAT identify the most important events to summarize a story.

Big Idea

Students will understand that summarizing involves looking at the most important details to determine the main idea.


To end this unit or series of lessons on key ideas, we will work on summarizing what we have read. Students have spent the last nine lessons looking at characters and themes. We have looked at how characters determine the key ideas and details and how the characters drive these events in a story. The last two lessons have focused on the theme or message in the story as well as summarizing what you have read. So today, we continue yesterday's lesson Summarizing with Key Ideas. Today students will take what they have gathered about their story and create a book jacket summary that gives a quick overview of the book.

Activating Strategy

10 minutes

Together we take another look at our anchor chart from the previous lesson. We also talk about the notes we took from our story. I share a few book jacket summaries from some of the jackets students browsed through in the previous lesson. Next, I have students think for a few minutes about how they would write a jacket summary for the story we read in our Shared Reading time in yesterday's lesson. I have students quickly jot down what they might say in their summary on a note card. After a few minutes I have a few students share what they might say. Now, I tell students that they will use the story they have been reading in their guided reading groups to create a book jacket summary. As I meet with each group during Guided Reading, students will either work together, in pairs, or alone to create a book jacket for the story they have been reading.

Guided Reading Overview

I meet with 3 to 4 groups during this time for 15 to 20 minutes. During each meeting, I divide the session into three parts. Before Reading, During Reading, and After Reading. Depending upon the needs of each group, I have some students work on their own to create the summary. Some groups work in pairs, and others work as a whole group with me. In each group, i guide and scaffold where needed based on what students show me during the session.

Before Reading

5 minutes

To begin we take a quick look at what we have learned so far from our story. We also recap the theme and message of the story. I ask students what has been the most important things we have seen in the story. 

During Reading

10 minutes

After a brief review of the story, I give students another record sheet with questions they need to focus on while they re-read the story. I explain to students that these are the questions from the anchor chart that will help guide their reading and help them summarize their story. Before students read on their own, I model again what this should look like. I think aloud for students so that they can see how they should approach their reading and note taking. Now, students begin to read the story independently. As students read on their own I listen in on each student and offer more guidance with students who need it.

After Reading

15 minutes

After students have read their story and taken their notes, students are asked to use their notes to write a quick summary for their story. For some of the groups, I model how to begin this, for others, I allow them to tackle it on their own. We look at several jacket summaries as exemplars to help spark ideas for students. Students begin to write their summaries and I offer guidance/scaffolding as students are writing.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

As we come back together as a whole group, we share several of our summaries. We review what we look for when reading in order to summarize and refer back to our anchor chart. As we move into our next unit, students will be asked to complete their jacket summaries in the writing station. Students will be asked to actually create a book jacket for their book that includes their summary. In the reading station, students will be asked to respond to stories they read in that station by creating a book jacket summary. These activities will give students several opportunities to put what they have learned into practice.