This complete, differentiated summarizing unit teaches students to identify story elements and write an effective summary. You’ll love the results: improved student responses and improved test scores.
Students learn to identify the main characters, setting, goal or motivation, obstacle, steps taken to overcome the obstacle, and outcome. Early learners use a jingle: somebody-wanted-but-then-so. The unit scaffolds to story elements for more advanced learners. Ultimately, they should be able to summarize without supports.
Created by master teacher Brenda Kovich, these activities are classroom-tested and kid-approved. They are also part of the Fourth Grade Literature Skills Bundle, which addresses all fourth grade literature standards.
- Lesson plans
- Notes for the teacher
- Two PowerPoint presentations featuring “The Dog and Its Shadow” and “The Fox and the Grapes” (one uses “somebody wanted but then so” and the other employs story elements)
- Story arc organizer
- Five one-page fables: “The Fox and the Grapes,” “The Goose and the Golden Egg,” “The Peacock,” “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” and “The Donkey and the Load of Salt”
- Three levels of organizers, multiple choice worksheet (with answer key), and themed response sheet for each story
- Transition terms reference sheet
- Summary checklists (for quick assessment)
- Generic organizers and stationery to use all year long
- Guidance and template for introducing theme
BONUS: A companion website stores all files (and more) in one convenient place. Student activities have also been saved as paperless Google files. You can grab the URL to share with your students or on a closed class website. It's perfect for Google Classroom!
Click on PREVIEW to take a closer look at materials.
Like each of my fourth grade literature skills units, this resource is available in three formats:
- PowerPoint – for teachers who want a clear introduction to the standard
- Practice – for teachers whose students need extra work on the standard
- Unit (this resource) – *best value* for teachers who want a complete learning cycle: direct instruction, guided practice, independent practice, and assessment (PowerPoint, practice, additional resources, companion website, and paperless Google option included)
You can choose the format that best fits your needs.
Would you like to know when I post more resources? Simply follow me on TpT.
Stories were adapted from The Aesop for Children, which was published in 1919 and is now in the public domain.
- CCSS RL.4.2 – Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
- Alaska Reading Standard for Literature Grade 4 – Determine a theme or author’s message or purpose of a story, drama, or poem using details and evidence from the text as support; summarize main ideas or events, in correct sequence, including how conflicts are resolved.
- Florida CPALMS LAFS.4.RL.1.2 – Determine the theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
- Indiana Academic Standard 4.RL.2.2 – Paraphrase or retell the main events in a story, myth, legend, or novel; identify the theme and provide evidence for the interpretation.
- Nebraska English Language Arts Standard LA 4.1.6.d – Summarize a literary text and/or media, using key details to identify the theme.
- Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts 4.2.R.3 – Students will summarize events or plots (i.e., beginning, middle, end, conflict, and climax) of a story or text.
- South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Standards Indicator 4-6.1 – Determine the development of a theme within a text; summarize using key details.
- Texas TEKS 4.3.A – Summarize and explain the lesson or message of a work of fiction and its theme.
I'm committed to continual improvement. This resource was updated and enhanced on August 2, 2018.