Summarizing: Keeping it Short & Sweet

Summaries can be easy with early readers, especially when you give them a plan. SWBSA is a great way to start telling and writing summaries.
SOMEBODY...

Teaching students to summarize can provide another option for solidifying their reading comprehension. This strategy can be used in all primary classrooms.  Too often students think summarizing is retelling.  Retelling has more details, whereas, summarizing keeps is short and sweet. One way to get a quick summary use the SOMEBODY…WANTED…BUT…SO…AND technique.  I have also seen "somebody-wanted-but-so-then." 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!

WANTED...

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.

BUT...

Once this technique is practiced, kindergartners can contribute to a whole group summary. Depending on reading level, this technique can be written or oral. Jan Richardson (I love her) uses cards with each word on them and distributes one card to each person. They have to work together to make a summary. My older students practice writing summaries using a SWBSA form and a partner, eventually moving to individualizing the summaries written in paragraph form.  
Summaries can be easy with early readers, especially when you give them a plan. SWBSA is a great way to start telling and writing summaries.

SO...

We have used summaries with read alouds, independent reading by levels (typically after level E, and with independent reading. It has become an option in their Reading Response Journals. I have previously blogged about summaries in a blog about Paint Chips and Using Mentor Texts.
Summaries can be easy with early readers, especially when you give them a plan. SWBSA is a great way to start telling and writing summaries.

AND...

Here's a Summarize FREEBIE download. There is an anchor chart, a summarize SWBSA form and bookmarks. 
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Summaries can be easy with early readers, especially when you give them a plan. SWBSA is a great way to start telling and writing summaries.

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