Determine the difference between the details and main events of a story to construct a “summary” from Toobeez.
Time: 1 minute
Time: 45 – 55 minutes
Instruction: Whole class and pairs
Here are available Training Options!
1. Circle up the group.
Review the differences between retelling and summarizing (see below).
*A retelling is when a listener recalls an entire story in order to reconstruct and share the story in their own words with others.
*A summary is when a listener recalls only the main events of the story to present the highlights of a story to others.
2. Record on the board or on chart paper some of the applications for summary writing (for example, book reviews, sports highlights,literature circles, projects, etc.)
3. As a group, list and record the elements of a good summary. A good summary should include information on the A) main events, B) main characters, C) story’s conflict, D) ending (if desired by instructor) or moral (if present).
4. Distribute the selected short story and have students read the story in pairs or small groups.
5. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.
Challenge: Determine the difference between the details and main events of a story to construct a “summary” from Toobeez.
Goal: Reduce the 20-card retelling to a 6-8 card summary.
6. As you distribute the cards, read them aloud to review the story to maximize student comprehension.Have students tape the index card onto one tube of the tower (work from the top down to the bottom).
7. Once all the cards are attached, have students determine what the tower represents: A summary or a retelling? (Answer: a retelling).
8. Define the term concise and succinct with students. Inform students they are now the “Concise Committee,” and their job is to determine which pieces of information will construct the Toobeez summary.
9. Review the elements of a good summary before continuing.
10. Going through the cards one at a time, have students give a “thumbs up” for information to stay, “thumbs down” for a detail to leave out, or a “wavy thumb” if they want to leave the card “on hold” and make a decision toward the end.
Teacher Note: Cards may also be combined to make one sentence.
11. Cards that are to be omitted should remain on the original tower.
12. Cards that have been selected to construct the summary are removed from the tower and attached to a new Toobeez tube. With each of these “summary” tubes, students will build a new structure to represent the summary (students can determine this shape).
13. Once the retelling has been trimmed to represent a good summary, have students read through the remaining cards on the new Toobeez summary structure as a group.
14. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section of the activity.
To close the lesson, end with a group discussion about what was learned during the activity. Circle up the group, and work through the following questions. If possible, record the group’s responses on flip chart paper so all comments are displayed.
1. Integrated instruction.
Use this lesson with the current classroom reading book(s) to enhance reading comprehension. You can also use a picture book, a section from a content area textbook, a chapter from the classroom’s read aloud, etc.
2. Avoid comprehension problems.
With challenged readers, use a popular story with which students are familiar (for example, The Wizard of Oz) to ensure difficulties with reading do not interfere with the objective of creating a good summary.
Working off the smaller “summary” structure (if time permits or on the following day), students can work in pairs to use the structure and the attached index cards to write out a paragraph summary for the story.