Need help teaching summarizing? It's that thing that we expect all upper elementary students to do, but what if they can't? As an intervention teacher I primarily work with students that struggle, and boy do they struggle with a summary. They either write the entire thing down (sometimes trying to copy word for word), or they start listing random facts and I'm like WHAT?? Did we just read the same thing?
When students first start groups with me we begin working on two things. Their working memory, and summarizing. To be honest, I can't take full credit for this summarizing tip. Last year I had a group of students really struggling with remembering anything we read. They could get 100% on a running record, but not be able to tell me the main characters name. So, I turned to the reading guru herself Jan Richardson and emailed her a question. Well, amazing lady that she is, she emailed me back this great idea that I turned into a strategy we always use! It helps both comprehension and summarizing!
It's called Who? What Happened?
We begin with very small sections, a page or a paragraph, depending on what they are reading and what their reading level is. At the end of every section the students stop and think (or say to a partner) Who was on the page and what just happened on the page.
To introduce any strategy in our groups we use the gradual release strategy. First I model the strategy, then we work on the strategy together and then gradually the students use the strategy on their own.
This is an amazingly simple, yet effective, strategy to help students not only increase their working memory, but also work on the foundations to comprehension.
If you are interested in using this strategy with your students and want the quick and easy anchor chart just click on the picture above or click HERE to download it.
I'm a mom, wife, and teacher that loves to read, hang out with my family, and learn. I love to use our blog to share ideas with others and to help keep me learning!