Introduction and Rationale
While writing a paraphrase is a necessary part of the research process, it is also a skill that is essential for teaching students to read difficult material with strong comprehension. I use this PowerPoint as part of both my unit on the Puritans (the first reading unit) and on writing a research document.
The skill itself is something that we expect students to have gained in middle school; however, I find that they are confused about how to write effective paraphrases. This is why I have found that this lesson is necessary.
I have included a passage from Ben Franklin’s The Autobiography as a model lesson for students. I find that this selection is difficult enough, yet accessible. I have students do a sentence-by-sentence paraphrase so that they may be detailed. In my unit on writing a research document, I teach summarizing and differentiate it from paraphrasing by limiting paraphrase for material that they need to retain detail and summary for material that they need for an overview of pertinent ideas or events.