The précis is a superb form of writing to teach at the beginning of the year, especially with students who do not believe they are good writers.
The précis teaches:
• Precise writing
• Critical thinking, reading, and writing
• Combining sentences: using compound and complex sentences
When my insecure writers see their final draft of a précis, they are awed by their ability to compose sophisticated writing. For this reason, I say to begin with précis.
Before writing a précis, make sure to teach how to analyze a poem! Check out the Anikdotes store if you’d like tips on how to teach analyzing poetry.
2 copies per page Print pages 2-3, double-sided, and cut in half – I like to save paper!
• Précis checklist
• Précis fill-in-the-blank format and guide
• Example précis based on “Harlem” by Langston Hughes
I have the most success with the précis when I follow this order of introduction to students:
1. Whole class
2. Assign as practice in pairs - IN CLASS (so I can answer questions)
The précis should be introduced with some system for analyzing a poem. I use a 6-step process to analyze a poem, which is in the Anikdotes store, but if you already have a poetry analysis system, it should be equally as effective.