Island of the Blue Dolphins: Summarizing Literature

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SWBAT summarize the novel, "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by considering characters, setting and major events.

Big Idea

Include IMPORTANT information ONLY!!!!

Cue Set

15 minutes

I want students to practice summarizing today, so during the Cue Set today, we watch a clip from Duck Dynasty.  My scholars are obsessed with this show.  We live in a water-centered rural Maryland community and many scholars have family members who make their living off of the water (fishing and hunting).  Therefore, this is a perfect hook for them.  Select a clip that will engage your scholars.  What age-appropriate shows do they enjoy?  Select something that is appropriate for your class! 

As scholars watch the clip, they ask themselves, "How would I summarize this clip? What is the most important information that I would need to include in order to communicate the gist of this video?" Here are scholars watching the video.  

I allow the scholars to watch the clip once (just because it is entertaining :)  Then, we watch it as second time to really think deeply about the questions above.  

Finally, scholars have 1 minute and 30 seconds to jot down their summaries.  They have 30 seconds to share with a friend.  I take 2 friends from my cup and 2 volunteers to share their summaries.  

I ask scholars, "What did you notice about your summaries?  What did you all include?  What were the MOST IMPORTANT details of that video?"  I expect scholars to say things like, "Well, it was important that Sid was saying hey.  Also, it was important that hey means different things depending on the context.  It was pretty funny."  I expect some scholars to include that the cup goes with Sid everywhere too.  This is an unimportant detail that I plan to discuss.  I ask, "Why would we not consider the cup an important detail?"  I expect to hear things like, "Well the title of the clip is HEY HEY HEY therefore the point about hey is the most important."  

Teaching Strategy

20 minutes

During the teaching strategy we review what makes a strong summary when summarizing literature.  Scholars find the place in their interactive notebooks where we recorded the components of a strong literature summary and they rally-robin the components (characters, setting, main events, conflict, how characters respond to challenges).  When we rally robin, we go back and forth sharing one component at a time with the person who is sitting next to us.  Here is the Smart Board to review notes.

Next, we read three different examples of summaries from chapter 5.  Scholars use their components to determine which summary is stronger and they say why.  The idea is that one summary does not have enough important information, another summary has too much information (much of the information is NOT important), and the third is just right.  Here are scholars evaluating summaries.  

Finally, we do a cloze reading of chapter 6.  When we do a cloze reading, we all have the same copy of the text.  I read the text aloud and pause over a few words/phrases.  As I pause, scholars fill-in-the-blank with the paused upon words.  This holds scholars accountable to following along in the text and it also provides all scholars with access to the text.  

In table partnerships, scholars create summaries on their dry erase boards.  Finally, I write my own summary and scholars copy the example in their Island of the Blue Dolphins summarizing journal so that they have a strong example of a summary.   

Guided Practice

15 minutes

This time will be a bit shorter today since it is day 1 of a new skill.  The idea is that scholars will get more parter and independent practice time with this skill tomorrow.  Scholars have 15 minutes to work with their partner to read chapter 7.  Then, they must complete their Island of the Blue Dolphins summarizing journal for chapter 7.  Here are students engaged in partner reading.  

Partners are heterogeneous groupings.  I pair lower scholars with medium low scholars and high scholars with medium high scholars.  The reason for this is to ensure that no one becomes frustrated with their partner, and also so that my ELL co-teacher and I can strategically support certain groups.  

Scholars love partner reading time because it helps them to hear a model of fluent reading other than the teacher.  Also, they get to move around the room and find a comfy place to read.  This increases oxygen to their brains and it gives them a change of scenery.  Scholars work together to continue to record thinking on their triple venn diagrams.  This gives them another set of ideas before they move forward and are independent with this task.  

Here are scholars hard at work!

Independent Practice

45 minutes

During this time scholars rotate through 2 stations.  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.  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 today is to summarize the text using books that are on each group's highest instructional level.  Scholars read a portion of the same book (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group).  Then, we discuss how to summarize fiction.  We practice recording our thinking on dry erase boards to use a different mode of recording and to keep things a little fresh.  I noticed that scholars needed more support with this skill last week, so I want to make sure that they have more practice. Here is a small group of scholars.  

The pink group will continue student-led text talk groups.  Their focus question will depend upon the text they selected and the part that they read.  

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.