Introduce: Summarizing Narrative Text

K - 3rd

When scholars re-tell a story, do they boil it down to important details in a logical order? Practice summarizing narratives using this think-aloud strategy, which is scripted here for your convenience. After explaining why this is an important skill, model it using a familiar story. There is emphasis here on segmenting the beginning, middle, and end of a text, using the main details to find a theme or message. The recommended text is a fable, so finding the message will be a bit more clear. Pupils try this on their own after watching you. Although there isn't much here, it's a solid way to introduce this skill with scaffolded steps.

Resource Details

30 mins

Developing Reading Fluency: Criteria for Reading Aloud

Third graders develop their reading superpowers in a lesson on fluency. After first listening to an audio recording or teacher read aloud, the class works together identifying criteria for fluent reading, focusing on phrasing, rate, punctuation, and expression. Children then participate in a whole-class choral reading of a familiar text before pairing up for further practice with fluent reading. Though the lesson is part of a third grade unit and cites specific texts, it can easily be adapted to other ages and pieces of literature. An excellent resource for developing this fundamental skill in young readers.

Comprehension: Answering Questions then Rereading the Text to Identify Details in Support of the Answers

Even first graders can be exposed to good reading strategies and comprehension skills. The teacher demonstrates how to read informational text, look at the questions, reread the text, locate answer, then locate supporting details to validate those answers. This is done as a class several times.

Summarizing and Synthesizing: Planning for Writing an Apprentice Wanted Ad

In lesson 13 of this unit on colonial trade, young researchers learn about apprentices as they prepare to write help-wanted ads for the specific trade they have been researching. To begin, the class listens closely as the teacher reads aloud an informational text on apprentices while working in small groups to take notes on the information they hear. Using their notes, learners then write a summary paragraph about apprentices in colonial times. Finally, pupils participate in guided practice where the teacher models how to fill in a graphic organizer that helps plan out the help-wanted ad they will be writing in the next lesson. A great resource that uses the concept of apprenticeship to engage young scholars as they learn how to use their research in creating a piece of expository writing. 

Using a Title to Determine Main Idea (Nonfiction)

Young readers explore a nonfiction text for its main idea. They will listen to the book Animal Sight by Kirsten Hall, and then observe as the teacher models a main idea think-aloud. Later, for independent practice, they listen to the passage Fly, Fly Butterfly, illustrate it, and write a sentence representing the main idea.

Introduce: Summarizing Informational Text Using About Trees

Summarizing is an excellent reading comprehension strategy; learners use the informational text About Trees (linked for printing) to put this skill to use. Model through a think-aloud as you read a section of the book and scholars read along with you. You can use the script here or speak naturally, but be sure to voice your thinking to the class. This is an excellent time to demonstrate note taking and finding main ideas. Assign a paragraph to partners, then have them share what the main idea was. You'll find a guide to all three paragraphs from this section to help structure discussion. 

Teach Text Features & Read Nonfiction

Young scholars study the tools of reading nonfiction (i.e., text features). They use think-aloud strategies to prepare to read the selection and identify graphic aids and assess their importance. They read "Stopping a Toppling Tower" quietly to themselves.

Teach Text Features & Read Nonfiction

Elementary schoolers examine the components of reading nonfiction. They use think-alouds to help them complete reading the selected sections. They also identify text features as they read.

Introduce: Comprehension Strategy: Comprehension Monitoring

Help readers develop awareness of comprehension issues and employ tools for better understanding. The best way to begin this strategy is to model it through a think aloud. Choose a book scholars will also be reading, preferably one they will easily engage in. Read until you reach a point that requires a fix-up strategy, explaining aloud what you are doing to aid comprehension. Consider displaying the five strategies listed here for reference. Use the resources to guide readers in this process; they record their strategies in a T-chart or bookmarks. Encourage debriefing so scholars can share the various techniques they used.

Introduce: Comprehension Monitoring using About Trees

As scholars begin reading more difficult text, they need to acquire an arsenal of comprehension strategies. Here are few helpful ones to guide new readers through the informational text About Trees, which is linked here for printing. This text is an excellent resource to investigate text features, and you conduct a think-aloud as you read through particularly confusing parts. It's important here to explain your thinking; what don't you understand? What are your techniques? They focus on context clues and rereading as "fix-up strategies" and record the various times they apply these techniques on a graphic organizer.

Introduce: Summarizing Narrative Text with the Fable the Tortoise and the Eagle

There is a valuable lesson revealed in the fable The Tortoise and the Eagle, and scholars examine it as they learn about theme, summarizing, and main ideas. The text is included here; read it once for learners to understand the whole story before demonstrating summary through a think aloud. There is a script here for this if you need it. Emphasize breakdown of the story into beginning, middle, and end, finishing by paraphrasing the author's main message. There are discussion questions here to prompt learners into deeper connections with the text before they try summarizing a fable on their own. Consider challenging the class to write their own fables and summarize a partner's writing.

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