After reading Thank You Ma'am with my middle school students, I asked them to write a short 2-4 sentence summary of the story. I couldn't believe how many of my students struggled with this, so I created this activity to re-teach summarization.
In this product you will find 8 summary strips. Some of the strips are good examples of what a summary over the story would be. Others are focusing on only one part, missing key information, etc. I taught my students to always find the B.M.E. (Beginning, middle, and end) in each summary.
Use this product in a variety of ways:
1. Put one strip on the overhead at a time and have the class decide if it is a good or a bad summary over the story. Have students explain their reasoning.
2. Laminate both sheets of paper and cut out the 8 strips. Put them in an envelope. I did this 4 or 5 times and then let students work in table groups, partners, etc. to rank the summary strips from best summary to worst summary. They had to be prepared to explain their ranking system. (As I walked around and listened, many students were going in depth on why they believed it was a good or bad summary to try and convince their peers on how to rank them!) Keep the laminated strips and envelopes and use them year after year!
3. Print both handouts and have each student individually glue the strips on a piece of paper. Draw a line down the paper and label each side as "Good example of a summary" and "Poor example of a summary". Have them turn this into you so you can see which students are really having trouble with the concept.
This activity did not take very long but was VERY HELPFUL in re-teaching the concept of summarization. My class did much better in creating summaries for stories that came after this lesson.
This was also a great lesson right before STAAR which frequently asks summarization questions on the reading comprehension test!!
**This lesson now includes DETAILED explanations/Answer Key on whether each summary is a good or poor example. It tells you exactly why or why not, and what (if anything) is missing! This can be seen in the third preview file image!