Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Grandma. A Gangster. A Cheerleader, and A Detective.

No, this is not the beginning of a joke :) 
These are the four characters that we met today during reading. Most importantly, these characters represent the four different types of summaries. When writing and/or picking out summaries that the "test gods" create and assess, it is important to know that there is a specific kind of summary they are looking for. Enter todays lesson: How to PICK a good summary. I originally got this great lesson idea a while back from Ms. Noran over at                          

Poor Granny, she means well, but she writes such LONG Summaries that she cannot even stay awake during them. She tells EVERYTHING about the story, going into great detail about the beginning, middle, and end. Listening to her is like rereading the entire book. 
The TOTAL opposite of Granny, Shorty's retelling of a story leaves out EVERYTHING! They are too short, too vague, and really don't tell you anything. The important plot points are missing and you are left having no clue what the story was about. 
Silly Sally 
Being a fun loving cheerleader, Sally is very talkative, friendly, and a bit boy crazy. She like, LOVES telling stories, but they aren't like exactly always on track. She often gets like off topic while telling her stories and tends to like exaggerate a lot. Her connections to what she has read are often shallow and don't like really connect with what the author was trying to tell her. 
Detective Dan 
Like all good detectives, Dan always asks the right questions, such as, WHO was involved? WHAT was the problem? WHERE and WHEN did the event take place? WHY did the character do what they did? WHAT is the author trying to tell the reader? HOW did you feel about the story? 
Dan, as you can see, is the correct summary - it answers all the important questions, shares important details, but does not go into great depth.
After meeting our eccentric characters, we drew pictures of them in our notebooks to help use remember what kind of summaries they represented. 

Finally, the kids worked together with their partners to identify DETECTIVE DAN summaries on a mock assessment. I reminded them that it is not as much about finding Shorty, Granny, or silly Sally, if it is wrong don't worry about which wrong - just find DAN! 

 Like Ms. Noran said, this is a FABULOUS lesson for someone who is willing to dress up and go wild with their kids.
They definitely LOVE it and remember it forever if you've got the guts ;0)
On a Side Note: 
During recess a few days ago, I left school to grab some lunch, it took me quite a bit of time to uncover my car from the amount of snow that had accumulated throughout the morning. Upon return, I lifted my windshield wipers up so they would not freeze. Then it hit me .... I went in and found some willing kiddos to help me on our "secret snow elf mission" We went back out and lifted all the windshield wipers on all the cars in the parking lot to help their drivers when they finally left at the end of the day!
Secret Snow Elves in ACTION

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