Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Kind of a Funny Story ...

I find that summarizing can be an extremely difficult concept for students to grasp. It is something that many people, not just kids, struggle with! The ability to break down a story, or retelling of an event, without telling the ENTIRE thing. This week, we dove head first into summarizing narratives. First, we focused on summarizing orally. The students were introduced to our "summary" chart. This chart really breaks down a summary into the most basic parts. Because we have already learned about narrative story elements, it is easy for kids to see that a summary basically takes the major parts of the story elements and restates them. I found my anchor chart HERE off of pinterest.
Like everything, we glued an example of the summary chart in our notebooks to reference. 
To practice orally summaries, I read aloud Martin's Big Words. We have been focusing on him this past week as well as the entire Civil Rights movement in honor of his holiday. After we read, there was a lot of reflections shared and then they got with their partners to share their oral summaries, following the chart. 

 Once we had established strong oral summaries, we moved onto written summaries, following the same chart. I was really impressed with many of the reflections that my kiddos made - this is where depth and reader connection is found! Here are some examples of their written summaries following the read alouds Henry Aaron's Dream: A story about an African American Boy who follows his dream of playing major league baseball - becoming who we now know as "Hank Aaron". And A Sweet Smell of Roses: A fictional story about a young African American girl who marches with Dr. King during the civil rights movement. This books is FILLED with great author's craft including figurative language, repetition, and circling a story. 
Even a connection to Nelson Mandela from our lessons weeks ago following his death. 
Proud teacher moment! 
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