6 Best Writing Lessons Ever
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6 Best Writing Lessons Ever

Summarizing... Are you struggling??

Kylene Reed
March 20, 2021

As our school begins to prepare for our upcoming state testing, we are not only looking at our weaknesses in writing but also areas that our students scored the lowest on the reading test as well. Big surprise... (not really) that one of our lowest reported areas was in summarizing. So what can we be doing all year long to help our students make connections with the way a summary should be written? I know for a fact, that I taught summary over and over again, any way I could think of, before I began using EW and nothing worked. Not to mention, as soon as students looked at the answer choices they were immediately turned off by the amount of reading it was going to take them to work through each choice.

After I started having students summarize every read aloud, passage, or article, I began to see a deeper understanding of what a summary really is and why we write them. There is just something magical that happens when students begin acting like the author and actually write summaries. They begin to think coherently with the author on what is included in the summary. Students understand that only the important main ideas, not the little details, are included into the summary, because they have been writing them on all topics that we read and study about in class.  

This week, my 6th graders are writing about forces used during WWII, which is a topic they are currently studying in social studies. I split my class into three groups and gave them a passage about the military force they would be reading about. Students annotated the expository piece, and then developed the main idea blurbs that the author used for the article. Next, they used informative verbs to wrap around the topic and main ideas. Finally, we added sentence starters and transitions to make the paragraph flow! This is just one idea of how you can begin to get your students to write summaries on any topic you study! 

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IMG_3475PS... If you are on the HUB, there is a great power point  lesson for you to use with your class when teaching summarizing! 

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28691Kylene

kreed@empoweringwriters.com

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