Summarizing Fiction: Four Digital Lessons Using Google Slides

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22 Ratings
Deb Hanson
Grade Levels
4th - 6th, Homeschool
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  • Internet Activities
46 pages
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Deb Hanson
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  1. This bundle of resources contains all of my digital ELA lessons. It is compatible with Google Slides. The bundle features twelve ELA topics. Most topics includes 4 lessons. (The only exceptions are my figurative language set which includes seven lessons, and my free character traits set which includ
    Price $45.99Original Price $57.89Save $11.90


This digital summarizing resource features four complete lessons. It is compatible with Google Slides. The lessons feature both instructional slides AND practice slides where students complete a task related to the instructional slides. Use these lessons over the course of four days to provide targeted instruction on how to write a strong summary of a fiction text. They can be used as a large group activity, in a small group setting, OR as an engaging self-paced reading lesson.

The slides in each lesson progress from basic to more complex. Answer keys are included. CHECK OUT THE PREVIEW to see some of the slides in these lessons.

Lesson #1: Introduction to the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" Strategy (11 slides)

  • This lesson includes four instructional slides. This lesson begins by introducing students to the SWBST strategy for summarizing a fiction text. The first slide is a poster that contains the five parts and a guiding question for each part. The next two instructional slides explain the difference between a story retelling and a story summary. Retellings are much longer and contain details, whereas summaries are brief. The last instructional slide shows how a writer used the phrase "followed a trail of clues" instead of listing every individual clue from the story.
  • The lesson contains six practice slides. On the first two practice slides, students read summaries and identify the five parts (SWBST) of the summary. On the next set of practice slides, students study a bullet point list of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and determine which points should be included in the summary. On the last pair of slides, students are shown a completed SWBST planner, and write a summary based on the responses on the planner.

Lesson #2: Tips for Writing Summaries and Practicing with Short Fables (15 slides)

  • This lesson includes seven instructional slides. This lesson begins by reviewing the SWBST summarizing strategy. Students are then told to avoid run-on sentences. Three tips are presented to help them avoid this common mistake made by students.
    • Tip #1- Combine the SWB sections into one sentence.
    • Tip #2- Decide whether adding the "so" section will create a run-on sentence. If it will, form a new sentence for "so". Transition words can be used.
    • Tip #3- Form a new sentence to address the final "then" sentences. Transition words can be helpful here, as well.
  • After the tips have been presented, students read "The Ant and the Grasshopper" passage. They are guided through filling out the planner and then writing a summary using the tips they just learned.
  • The lesson contains seven practice slides. Students read three fables. After each one, students fill out a SWBST planner, and then use their planner to write a summary of each fable.

Lesson #3: Practice and a Writing Activity (10 slides)

  • This lesson begins with one instructional slide that serves as a review. Students are reminded of the tips that they learned in yesterday's lesson.
  • The lesson contains six practice slides featuring two nonfiction passages. After reading each passage, students fill out a SWBST planner, and then use their planner to write a summary.
  • The lesson ends with a creative writing activity. In this activity, students get to be the author! Each student gets to fill out a SWBST planner that could someday be used to write a fiction story. I believe that taking on the role of author will help students understand the normal progression of a story arc, and deepen their understanding of how summaries come together.

Lesson #4: When the SWBST Strategy Falls Short (10 slides)

  • This lesson contains seven instructional slides. In this final lesson, I focus on what writers can do when they try to use the SWBST formula, and the parts just don’t seem to all fall into place. As you will see, I propose that when students run into this problem, they should start with the SWBST formula, but add in other critical information when it is necessary. This lesson begins by using Jack and the Beanstalk as an example. Next, students read a short story and choose which summary is stronger. (The summary that uses the SWBST formula plus some added information is the correct answer.)
  • Finally, this lesson contains two instructional slides. Students read one last short story and summarize it.


This digital lesson resource is an expanded version of my printable summarizing fiction trifolds. Many of the practice activities in my printable trifolds are the same as the practice activities in these digital lessons. The main difference between the two versions is that this digital version offers complete lessons with additional instructional slides that are not included in the printable trifolds. I really want to stress the overlap to teachers who have previously purchased my summarizing fiction trifolds so that they are aware of this overlap before they purchase this expanded, alternate version.

**Check out my FREE CHARACTER TRAITS LESSON if you want to view the structure of these lessons a bit more closely.

Feel free to check out my related summarizing fiction resources:

Readers' Theater and Summarizing Activity

Summarizing Fiction PowerPoint

Summarizing Fiction Bundle

Click on the following links to check out my other Digital ELA Lessons!

Figurative Language: Seven Digital Lessons

Main Idea: Four Digital Lessons

Context Clues: Four Digital Lessons

Inferences: Four Digital Lessons

Author's Purpose: Four Digital Lessons

Plot: Four Digital Lessons

Text Evidence: Four Digital Lessons

Themes: Four Digital Lessons

Summarizing Nonfiction: Four Digital Lessons

Cause and Effect: Four Digital Lessons

Digital Lesson ELA BUNDLE: ALL 11 Topics

Copyright by Deb Hanson

This item is a paid digital download from my TpT store

This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher is prohibited. This item is also bound by copyright laws. Redistributing, editing, selling, or posting this item (or any part thereof) on an Internet site that is not password protected are all strictly prohibited without first gaining permission from the author. Violations are subject to the penalties of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me if you wish to be granted special permissions!

Total Pages
46 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


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