Say What? Paraphrasing

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SWBAT paraphrase in writing a selection from a a non fiction text.

Big Idea

Paraphrasing is very tricky to do and understanding the rules of plagiarism are important as they are learning to research. This lesson is to help students get better at using their notes to create good sentences that are in their own words.

Defining Paraphrasing

2 minutes

The question I begin with is asking students to talk to their partner about paraphrasing. I alao ask them to discuss when they use it and why. As I walk around the classroom, I notice that many of the students are trying to figure it out, I hear lots of talk about them remembering hearing the word. Only a few students actually have an answer that is correct or close. I do not confirm or deny any of groups discussions, I am just walking around and listening.

I then try the question again, but I set it up differently. I ask the class to tell me what  they should do when they need to write down a fact from a book; the fact they choose might be something they will use in an assignment or a paper. This is where the lightbulbs start to go off. They now have made the connection to paraphrasing that I was looking for.

Now that they have the connection we create a working definition for what paraphrasing is. I write the word on the white board and the class tries to create a definition for what it means. As we discuss the word, I hand out lined paper. The class comes up with, "putting words we have read into our own words so that they don't get in trouble for copying the author." We then discuss the reasons we need to paraphrase and add that to the white board. I ask them to write the word Paraphrase onto their lined paper. 

Renaming a Chapter

5 minutes

To model and practice I ask the class to take out the biography we have been reading. We open up to the chapter we just read. I ask them to read the title of the chapter and I explain that we are going to use paraphrasing to rename it. 

The title of the chapter is, Columbus discovers a new continent. I write the title on the board and ask them to try to come up with a new sentence that is similar. A student answers, "Columbus discovers a new place." I explain that we are getting closer, but changing one word doesn't count toward putting the title into our new words. I continue to ask the class to try changing other words or event he order. 

In the next sentence, the students change Columbus to Christopher Columbus at the start of their new sentence. I underlined this and added an S next to the line. I explain that I am "stuck" with Columbus or Christopher Columbus. This is because it is the person's real name. I can not change that, it needs to be accurate or my information becomes invalid. Other information I read can be changed I need to do this in words and order of words. The trick is not losing the meaning. WE keep practicing on the title until the class agrees on a good sentence that is different, "Christopher Columbus sailed to the undiscovered continent, South America." 

Reading and Notetaking

10 minutes

Even with modeling and guided practice it is going to take more practice to getting the concept of paraphrasing down. We are now going to practice by reading a paragraph in our biography. A student exclaims, "paraphrasing will take forever." I tell them that I will show them how they can do it without it taking a long time and without the use of looking at the book. 

The next part of the lesson is showing them how to use their notes to create their own sentences. W do this by reading the first paragraph of our next chapter. I read the chapter to the class and they follow along. I then ask them to close their books and tell me anything they remember that would be an important detail to telling someone if this was information they needed for a test. They came up with four notes. The name of the place we read, the location of it, and a few other details. We practice taking writing these into notes.  

I have them add these four notes to their lined paper. I use bullets for the notes and point them out because we have practiced them before.

Notes to Sentences

10 minutes

I give the class time to write the notes down. The class is now going to help me create new sentences using our notes. I have them take each bulleted note and turn it into their own sentence. We do this for all four notes. The sentences we create we write into a paragraph. 

Once the paragraph is written, I ask them to check it over and makes sure we have all the details we need about the paragraph we read. We agree, so I ask them to reread the original paragraph. I then read it out loud again. 

We have a quick discussion on whether or not the two paragraphs are alike. I point out that our paragraph contains the main details from our story. I give them credit for creating a new paragraph in their own words. They did a great job of paraphrasing. We quickly go over why we paraphrase again.