Summarizing is one of the first skills that you should teach your readers when the school year begins. Being able to summarize what they read helps them with the ability to check for understanding, support with text evidence, and check if what they are reading is at a level that makes sense to them. Activities for summarizing that are engaging are key!
But summarizing doesn’t have to be boring! By using meaningful activities for summarizing, you can make it fun! In this post, I am going to share with you my top 5 summarizing lessons!
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Fun Activities for Summarizing: What do you want to learn?
This is a great way to introduce the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then version of summarizing.
1. Ask the kids to write down one thing they want to do or learn this school year (they might even give you some good ideas).
2. Then, pick one or two to put up on the board. Have the kids figure out a problem that could come up. For example, if they wanted to play basketball, the problem could be what would they be learning? If they wanted to go to the amusement park, there could be a lot of problems. The kids will brainstorm how to solve that problem and you will slowly introduce the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then model!
#2 The No Pictures Story
Read a picture book to students, but don’t show the pictures. The book I suggest is “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” by Mordicai Gerstein, but you could do any book.
While the kiddos are listening to the story, they will fill in SWBST with drawings. This is a great way for them to work on visualizing and inferring.
When done reading, you will go back through the story as a class comparing the pictures they drew and writing a summary on the board together. As you go through the pictures in the book, you will write the summary on the board.
#3 The Use of Readers Theatre
At the beginning of the year, you want to work on activities for summarizing, but fluency is also a great skill to begin working on. Readers theatre is great for that!
Have students get into groups and complete a readers theatre. When they are done perfecting it, they can read it in front of the class and the rest of the class can write a summary for the readers theatre that they just listened to.
You can use ANY readers theatre, or just grab the ones that are in this product here!
Students LOVE reading books on their own and their ability to summarize will only get better through practice. With this summarizing activity you will allow them to read a book on EPIC, you can find my summary collection for free here, and write a summary of the book.
Even better? Make a poster to summarize the book!
Summarizing Pictures and Videos
Watch Pixar movies and summarize them! This is a great way to engage students and get them working on writing paragraph summaries.
Some of my favorite Pixar’s for summarizing are below!
For the Birds
You can also show them pictures to help them see the SWBST model!
Do you want all these ideas, assessments, practice assignments, small group lesson plans, and more for summarizing!?
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