February 25, 2014

Keep it Quick: The Easy Art of Summarizing


Another Reading Comprehension strategy that can be used in all primary classrooms is Summarizing.  Too often students think summarizing is retelling.  In order to get a quick summary use the SOMEBODY…WANTED…BUT…SO…AND technique.  I would be happy to credit to the one who thought of this technique…because it is genius!  The problem with credit is I’ve seen it in so many places, I’m not sure who came up with this originally.  That being said, it’s a keeper!


I first used this technique with my kindergarten class.  We were addicted to Magic Tree House Books (that’s another post for another day) and we started practicing our summarizing after each chapter.  I made a poster with the 5 words on it as a reminder.  We did not write down the summaries…we only practiced the summaries orally.


This year, I taught my first and second grade students to summarize using this technique.  We made a poster as an anchor chart using their words.  We started with a whole group S...W...B...S...A.


We practiced this with all the stories we read.  It is perfect for the shorter guided reading books that have a plotline…usually starting with Level D.  It has become an option in their Reading Response Journals.


We also talked about how we could use it for our longer books.  Today, we read “The Magic Bike” from Reading A-Z and we wrote a longer summary.  We started with an introduction sentence.  Then, wrote the beginning of the summary using Somebody…Wanted…But…So…And.  Realizing this didn’t quite tell the story, we had to add another But…So…And to finish the story summary. 

For a FREEBIE Summarizing Poster Set, CLICK HERE

If you are interested in the complete Reading Comprehension Set on Teachers Pay Teachers, CLICK HERE


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