Create a Story Summary Folder

What You Need:

  • A file folder
  • Lined paper
  • Unlined paper
  • Crayons and/or markers
  • Glue

What You Do:

  1. Upon completion of a favorite novel or story, your child can use this activity to “sum up" the book and let others know about their opinion of what they have just read.   Begin by having them decorate the front of the file folder with the title and author of the book, their name and a colorful picture about the book using the crayons or markers.
  2. Next, have them write a summary of the book on the lined paper.  For their summary they should think about the main events and characters of the story, and try to give a brief but clear account of these points as well as the overall theme. Their summary should be no longer than one side of a page of lined paper.  When they are finished, help them glue it on the inside, left side of the folder. 
  3. On a half-sheet of unlined paper (cut horizontally), have them draw and label an important event or fact from the book. Title it “Important Event" or "Important Fact," followed by a few words that say what this important event is. For example: "Important Event - Tabatha runs away from home." Once they have completed their drawing, glue it on the inside of the folder at the top of the right side. 
  4. On a half-sheet of line paper (cut horizontally), have them write their opinion of the book. This can include what they enjoyed about the book, what they disliked about the book, and any possible suggestions they might have for the author. You may want to brainstorm with them what they thought of the book in order to help get their thoughts clear and organized before they begin to write. They can title it, "My Review" or "My Opinion" and if they like, they can even give the book a star rating just like the real book reviewers do, with 5 stars being the best and no stars being the worst.  When they're finished, help them glue it on the inside of the folder at the bottom right side, under the important event or fact.
  5. The final step is to have your child draw and label the characters or subject of the book on the back of the folder. This is another opportunity to allow them to visually show their understanding of what they have read instead of writing it, as is usually the case in the traditional book report format. They'll be demonstrating their comprehension and understanding through their words as well as through their drawings. 
  6. Upon completion of the story folder, have them share it with their family members and friends. Have the friend or family member read the folder and ask three questions about the book. This will give your child yet another chance to demonstrate their comprehension skills and opinions of their reading in yet another way, this time by speaking aloud.

This is great way to summarize a book in a creative, original and artistic manner!

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