Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting to the Gist of It

One of the hardest things for students to understand at this level is how to read informational text and summarize in their own words. The lesson I taught has to do with getting to the gist of it. I wanted my students to be able to read the information and then summarize in 10-15 words the paragraph they read. We had been practicing summarizing in our novels at the time, so moving into the informational text wasn't hard, but for some students they still wanted to write the author's words which is plagiarism.

I choose an article on Saturn from Time For Kids and I read each paragraph and then summarized in 10 words or less on a note card. I used Book 6 from the Comprehension Toolkit to model my lessons after. However, I used articles about Space because the kids were studying this.

We spent 3 days practicing summarizing in articles about Space. Each day students would turn in their best card for an informal assessment to assess their progress.

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