Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

Learning Objective: Students will be able to summarize their reading


Student Worksheet (attached)
Exit Slips (attached)
Sticky Notes for coding the text

Do Now: (Add a Do Now to the Student Worksheet so that students (S) have something to complete upon entering the room. I like to use this opportunity to spiral skills from prior lessons or to ask students to journal about a life experience that might help them to make a connection with today's lesson.)

Connection: Teacher (T) will say: Friday we practiced summarizing with Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.  Today we'll continue to practice summarizing what we read, but we'll take a different approach toward writing summarize.

Direct Instruction / Guided Practice: (T will ask S to share out definition of "summarize."  Target: Retell the most important parts using fewer words.  T will write the definition on the board.)

Today your challenge will be to boil information down into smaller and smaller meaningful chunks. Let me show you what I mean.

(Student volunteers will read the excerpt of Double Act aloud.)

Your goal is to summarize this passage in one tidy paragraph. Remember, you need to use complete sentences, and you need to include the most important parts. But you want to get rid of the details, the less important parts. (Allow time.)

Go ahead and share what you wrote with a partner. (Ask one or two students to put their summaries up on the board while others are sharing. Share those out and discuss them as a class. Accept suggestions for refining them if appropriate.)

Now your job is to reduce this entire paragraph down to one sentence. The sentence can't be a heinous run-on, either. Your goal is not to once again boil this paragraph down to only the absolute most important parts. (Allow time. Share out and select volunteers to write their sentences on the board.  Accept suggestions for refining them if appropriate.

Now I want you try it with less help from me. Can we have some volunteers to read the next passage aloud? (Take volunteers. Read.)

Now take three minutes to summarize that passage in a paragraph. (Allow time.  T will circulate to check for understanding.)

Please share your paragraph with the people around you. Feel free to critique each others' thinking. (Allow time.)

Now please boil your paragraph down to one grammatically correct, essential sentence. (Allow time.)

Now please take a moment to share your sentence with the people around you. Again, feel free to critique each others' thinking. (Allow time.  T will circulate to check for understanding.)

Link: Now it's your turn. As you read today, what will you be doing?  (Have a student share out the "Links" section of his/her worksheet.)

Independent Practice: (S will read silently.

Since all S should have selected literature circle novels and scheduled meetings with their literature circle groups for this week, small groups of students may be holding their meetings at this time.

T will either hold individual conferences with students to monitor progress and to support individual goal-setting or pull small groups for guided reading / other interventions.  T may wish to use Friday's exit slips and today's observations to pull together a smaller group of students who struggle to summarize what they read.)

Share: Our time for today is up. Before we share, however, please take some time to complete your exit slip. (T will distribute exit slips and allow 5 minutes for students to complete them. T will then collect them and review them in preparation for tomorrow's class.)

Now please feel free to turn to your partner and share your work for today.

Closing:  I hope that this review of summarizing was helpful to you today. Remember, summarizing is retelling only the most important parts of a story or a text, and it's useful because we can usually tell in these shorter retellings whether we've missed something important.

It's time for million dollar question!

1. What does it mean to summarize?

2. Define "central idea" and "details."

3. Note to the Instructor: Insert a question here that spirals learning from previous units.

4. Make a text-to-world connection based upon what you have read thus far in your literature circle novel.


Gradual release and pair/share during Introduction to New Material/Guided Practice
Literature circle novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice
Opportunity for small-group work at the conclusion of Introduction to New Material/Guided Practice
Active reading strategy: coding the text
One-on-one Reader's Workshop conference to support individual students and to encourage individual goal-setting
Exit slips identify students who would benefit from additional support. 


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