Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Summary Writing- A Heroic Job!

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! 
It's a Summary Writer! 

Writing a summary isn't the easiest thing for my third graders to do. After YEARS of retelling on their DRA assessments third graders are required to write a written summary of the text they have read. This is no joke! In order to combat the evil of Dr. Summary each year we hold- Super Summary Boot Camp! We spend the day learning to write and practicing write summaries. 

I start by introducing my kids to this self-created anchor chart that defines the parts of a summary, what a summary is, and most importantly- what a summary isn't. 
The Superhero theme matches my Superhero themed classroom
Next, I read this SUPER fantastic book while using post-its to document the story elements that I will need to later write my summary. 
Then it's time to review and order my Story Element post-its to create my summary. We talk about the need to add transition words and to possible cross out plot points that we thought would be important, but don't belong in our summary. That's a TON of work! So it's time for a min break. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore has been turned into an Academy Award winning short film. The kids get out their snack and we watch the cartoon off Youtube. While the kids are busy watching I use our post-its to write my summary. 

We convene back together, we review my work, then it is time for them to get to work. Wearing their Superhero capes they get some leveled readers (one of the few times I use these) and they get to work reading, post-iting (that should totally be a word), and writing their summary. 

Everything is more fun in a cape!  

From there I can collect their summaries, see who got it, and plan any strategy lessons necessary during upcoming Reading Workshop periods to help any heroes who struggled or need to clean things up. This boot camp prevents my kids who got the skill from having to write tons of unnecessary summaries and let's me get started with strategy lessons after only one day of summary instruction. 

Hope this post helps you to concur your summary woes. If you need more information feel free to comment below and I can share the Google Doc I created for my SUPER SUMMARY BOOT CAMP with you. 

Bye Buddies!


  1. I would love the google doc!

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