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So your students are reading nonfiction articles and informational texts, but can they summarize them? My students, especially my struggling 7th - 9th graders, have often been at a loss for what to include in nonfiction summaries. I created this mini unit to scaffold their understanding.
- a presentation and student notes that provide the basics for teaching students how to summarize a nonfiction text. The presentation text can be edited in Google Slides, which can be downloaded as a PowerPoint file, if you prefer.
- four practice activities to use as reinforcement for summarizing nonfiction texts, including a sort and a manipulative. Suggested high-interest articles and video links are included for practice activities. These resources are in Google Slides and PDF versions.
- two different versions of a nonfiction summarizing quiz. One is for students who require less scaffolding, and the other is for students who need assessment modifications. The print quiz is a PDF, and the digital quiz is a Form.
- a suggested unit plan to guide your instruction.
- answer keys with possible student responses for activities and the quiz included with the PDFs.
I use this resource with ninth graders as a mini-lesson tool before modeling how to write a nonfiction summary, but it is appropriate for any middle school or high school student who needs structure.
I'm always trying to make literacy more accessible to students. This assignment uses a creative analogy for the process of summarizing, includes differentiation elements, and has been teacher-tested and tweaked in the classroom.
Usually, at the beginning of this unit, my freshmen have zero idea how to summarize a nonfiction text. By the end, most of them can tell me with confidence not only what belongs in a nonfiction summary, but also how long it should be and in what order to write about the information. This unit provides excellent structure for any student who would benefit from a gradual-release approach. It's suitable for introduction or review purposes.
Start to finish, this unit will take a minimum of five days if you use all of the included activities. Depending on your students' pace and whether or not you use the additional links for further practice, the unit may last longer. Estimations are based upon 45 minute class periods.
NOTE: This resource is also included in a larger bundle, Reading Literature and Informational Texts Graphic Organizer Activity Bundle.
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