Anyway, I'm spending the day off working on projects and papers to try to get ahead and get DONE! As I was sifting through my paperwork, I found a graphic organizer that I've been meaning to share with all of you! Disclaimer: This was NOT my brain child. I WISH I had thought of it though, because it is BRILLIANT!
We hit summarizing pretty hard in third grade... right out of the gates. Most of the kids give GREAT retellings... but they struggle with writing concise summaries. Every single year, I spend LOTS of time teaching them the difference. I've always relied on using familiar fairy tales like "The Three Little Pigs" to do a retelling since 99.9% of my students have heard it many times by third grade. Then, after hooking them... by the hairs on their chinny chin chins... I summarize it. I give them the gist of the story. Short & sweet. Then, I always ask, what was the difference between my retelling and my details? Someone is always quick to point out that my summary is kind of similar to giving the main idea... and I leave lots of details out. This has worked pretty well for me, but friends, just wait till you see this organizer!
My professor is absolutely fabulous, first of all. I spend a lot of time reading about reading, because I have a bit of a love affair with literacy, so I don't always hear NEW ideas, per se, but I definitely gain perspective and understand more deeply. Every now and then, she comes out of nowhere with some crazy-brilliant-fabulous idea... and this is just one example.
Click the picture to download!
This is how it works! Before reading a book, pass out the graphic organizer. Take a moment to show your students how it is set up... and how there are lines for each story element. Next, tell the students to jot down details that they want to remember on the lines outside of the diamond as you read. (I think it would be great to add a retelling afterward... to have the kiddos turn and talk to each other and share their retellings of the story after looking over their notes.) Then, ask them to jot down one sentence in each section of the diamond to describe the setting, the characters, the problem, and the solution. After that. have the students cut or fold around the diamond to remove the extraneous details. Explain that this is how a summary works. A summary tells the main points or the gist without the extra details. Viola! A visual representation of summaries! If you've been following along for a while, you know how much I love tangible concrete models for comprehension! Isn't this fabulous!? It's the best thing I've learned all semester! I've retyped it to share with all of you, so if you want a copy, click on the picture to snag it for FREE! Let me know what you think! :)