Summarizing Fiction Small Group Instruction: Four Tri-folds | PDF and Digital |

Deb Hanson
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Deb Hanson
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These four print-and-go tri-folds target the skill of summarizing a fiction text. Students are taught how to use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy in a step-by-step manner. Use these tri-folds over the course of 4 days to provide targeted instruction on this topic.

As I was creating these tri-folds, I pictured myself using them with small groups of students. Specifically, I envisioned sitting around a table with a group of students who needed some targeted instruction and additional opportunities to practice writing a fiction summary. That being said, however, you can also successfully use these tri-folds in a large group setting or assign them as independent work.

The summarizing fiction trifolds progress from basic to more complex. Answer keys are included, along with additional teacher notes for EACH tri-fold. CHECK OUT THE PREVIEW to get a good feel for what you will get if you choose to purchase this resource.

Tri-fold #1: This initial tri-fold focuses on teaching students to recognize the five parts of a “Somebody Wanted But So Then” summary. First, students are presented with three summaries, and they must highlight or underline each component of the summary with a different color. The middle section of this tri-fold emphasizes the difference between retellings (many details) and summaries (short). I have included both a bulleted retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and a SBWST summary so that students can see the difference. Finally, students are given information about a fictional text, and they write their first summary using the SWBST model.

Tri-fold #2: This second tri-fold uses fables because most fables are already short, and identifying the five parts is often quite obvious. Therefore, I believe summarizing fables builds confidence at this early point. In this tri-fold, students read and then summarize three fables. As you will see in my teacher notes for this tri-fold, this is when I talk to kids about avoiding a run-on sentence summary, and I discuss the importance of using transition words to help form a smooth, fluent summary.

Tri-fold #3: In this third tri-fold students advance to reading short stories. These two short stories contain more details than the fables they read yesterday. Therefore, students will need to discern the most important parts of the story in order to write a good summary. On the final panel, students will brainstorm their own short stories by answering the SWBST questions in each box.

Tri-fold #4: In this final tri-fold, 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 tri-fold 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, students read one last short story and summarize it.

********This resource is available in TWO FORMATS:

1. TRADITIONAL PRINTABLES- Print the PDF and distribute paper copies to your students to complete.

2. TPT DIGITAL ACTIVITY- With this format, an interactive layer has been added to the original PDF!** This paperless version uses text boxes and drawing tools so that your students can complete it on a device. You can assign it to your students via Google Drive, and they can return it to you to review.

Feel free to check out my related summarizing fiction resources:

Summarizing Fiction Tri-Folds

Readers' Theater and Summarizing Activity

Summarizing Fiction PowerPoint

If you like these tri-folds, you might want to check out these tri-folds that target other ELA skills:

Author's Purpose: Targeted Tri-folds

Main Idea: Targeted Tri-folds

Plot: Targeted Tri-folds

Theme: Targeted Tri-folds

Making Inferences: Targeted Tri-folds

Citing Text Evidence: Targeted Tri-folds

Context Clues: Targeted Tri-folds

Cause and Effect: Targeted Tri-folds

By Deb Hanson

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As such, it is for use in one classroom only. This item is also bound by copyright laws. Redistributing, editing, selling, or posting this item (or any part thereof) on the Internet 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
23 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
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.
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 of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.


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