Lesson Plan

Summarizing Nonfiction

Use this lesson to help your ELs summarize information from a text and use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. This lesson can be a stand-alone lesson or used as support to the Day 4 section of the Star Unit lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Star Unit lesson plan.
View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Star Unit lesson plan.



Students will be able to summarize information from research about constellations.


Students will be able to summarize a Greek myth about a constellation with new vocabulary using graphic organizers.


(5 minutes)
Context Clues TableConstellation LegendsLanguage Frames: Nonfiction SummaryTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVocabulary Cards: Summarizing NonfictionGlossary: Summarizing Nonfiction
  • Ask students to put a thumb up for "yes," thumb down for "no," and thumb sideways for "maybe" to the following questions: "Have you ever looked up at the night sky? How big are stars in the sky?"
  • Project a picture of a constellation and draw a concept web on the board with the word "constellation" in the middle. Distribute sticky notes to each student and ask them to write down everything they know about what they see in the picture.
  • Ask students to share their responses and place their sticky notes on the concept web if they contribute to an understanding of a constellation. Ask follow-up questions to understand what they know about constellations. For example, "What are the bright objects? When can you see the stars? Do they move in the sky?"
  • Define Greek myths and explain that in the past Greeks would look at the stars and create stories about the star groupings, or constellations. Tell them they'll summarize what they know about a Greek myth about the constellation Cassiopeia.