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Old 10-18-2008, 12:50 PM
inlovewithwords inlovewithwords is offline
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Teaching kids how to summarize

Do any of you have a great way to teach 9th graders how to properly summarize. My kids need serious help.
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:09 PM
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Mrs. K. Mrs. K. is offline
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High School English Teacher
We were just discussing this in one of my grad school classes this week, and it is a difficult skill for kids to develop. One thing you might try is to give them a passage to read, then have them put it aside and summarize without looking back at it. Or, have them write a 20-word summary; if that seems to daunting, have them write a 50-word one and then cut it in half to 25 words.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:40 PM
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Historyteaching Historyteaching is offline
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High School Teacher
If you know fill me in..I have students that can IM/text for hours, but ask them to abbreviate their notes for easier time and yes this is what you do when you text and I get the 'deer in headlight' look.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:56 PM
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dovian dovian is offline
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High School Teacher
In literature we use "Somebody . . . Wanted . . . But . . . So". This could work for history as well. You read a passage, a story or a chapter, and you identify the "Somebody" (character), what they "Wanted", what kept them from getting it ("But"), and the outcome ("So"). For example, "Mr. G wanted us to learn to summarize but we weren't very good at it so now we have to do this." Or, "Mathilde wanted to look wealthy at the ball but she didn't have any jewelry so she borrowed a necklace, which she then lost." It can help them get straight to the point of a passage, but you do have to give examples or you get "Mathilde wanted to look wealthy at the ball because she didn't have any money but she didn't have any jewelry so she borrowed a necklace except then she lost it and spent 10 years paying it off but then it turned out to be a fake." (Which, depending on your kids' current skills, might still be an improvement )
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:38 AM
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Historyteaching Historyteaching is offline
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High School Teacher
I Love that IDEA!! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:13 PM
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mshutchinson mshutchinson is offline
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Dovian - that's fantastic!

My idea is a bit weaker. My kids don't have a lot of trouble with summarrizing. I try to summarise verbally with the class.

I'll walk into the room glare at a kid walk over and yell at him "drag" him out of his seat, pretend to kill him and then cover the body with newspaper ... or something equally dramatic (mugging a kid, cleaning the room).
Then I ask the kids to "call 911" and tell what happened. The idea is that we don't have time for a long story - just get the important stuff out.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:29 AM
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bandnerdtx bandnerdtx is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Assistant Principal (6th-8th)
I've used the Somebody Wanted But So strategy, too, and it's really effective.

I've also used a strategy called GIST. Basically, you give the kids 25 blank lines, and they have to tell the story in exactly 25 words. Kinda like what Ms. K suggested!
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:52 PM
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ELA 11 12 ELA 11 12 is offline
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Behind your shed stealing firewood
English 11, 12, Speech and Debate
Use Auto-summarize Tool in MS Word. Have students read a passage, enter it in a Word Document, auto summarize it, and then EVALUATE if the summary is accurate.

Have them figure out how the tool summarizes. Do they use the same approach? Should they?

Then give them a handout and have them summarize by hand.

Learning the auto summarize tool will help them later if they ever have to write an abstract for an APA paper.

I successfully used this in both 7th, 9th, 11th and 12th grades.

This tool will also help them when editing their essays for organization and ideas. Students quickly discover when they move off topic.
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