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

Literacy in Content Areas: Think Aloud

Fifth graders examine the "think aloud" reading strategy. In this reading strategies lesson, 5th graders apply the think aloud strategy to solving word problems in math.

How Does that Work?

Sixth and seventh graders explore algebra word problems. They work with a partner to solve word problems distributed by e-mail. Learners simplify mathematical expressions following a "think aloud" algebra strategy modeled by the teacher. Many examples/worksheets are provided.

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

There is a valuable lesson plan 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.

Summarizing: Using Hand Motions for Key Words or Points

Learning to summarize texts takes practice. Jump into the training ring and guide your learners through a summarizing practice session. The classic direct instructional practice of "I do, you do, we do" is used to help them identify key words or ideas which will be used to create accurate summaries. As they summarize the text, they create hand motions for each key word or point, they put them all together to make a gestural movement that represents the logical order of their summary.

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. 

Math Think Alouds

Students solve a problem by thinking aloud with a partner. They improve their problem solving and literacy skills by using key signal or transition words to prompt their thinking.

Self-Monitoring Strategies and Vocabulary Games

Middle and high schoolers identify how to discover a word's meaning by exploring context clues and any pictures, diagrams, photographs, and charts that might be included. They continue this process with other examples and locate one on their own. They finish by writing their own think-aloud on paper to share with the class.

Text Organization: Main Ideas and Details

Fifth graders read an article.  In this text organization lesson, 5th graders learn about text organization using the main idea and details of a story.  Students complete a main idea and details web.

Reading Childhood Holocaust Accounts using the Think Aloud Reading Comprehension/Critical Thinking Strategy

Eighth graders us the think aloud strategy to examine childhood Holocaust accounts and read Elie Wiesle's novel, Night.

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.

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