Lesson plan

Summary Raceway: Summarizing Fiction

Start Your Engines! It's time to teach your students how to summarize fiction text as you race down Summary Raceway.
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With the support of the Summary Raceway organizer, students will be able to summarize fiction text.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather students on in a common area.
  • Tell students they will learn how to summarize a fiction passage or story with the support of the Summary Raceway organizer.
  • Ask students if they know what a summary is.
  • Explain that a summary is a description of the all of the main events in a story. It includes the main idea of the story, and some details about its characters and events.
  • Read the poem Summary Raceway to introduce the lesson.
(20 minutes)
  • Hang the poster size Summary Raceway organizer for students to view. Explain the different parts of the organizer.
  • Begin reading a fiction passage or story. Think aloud as you read. Point out its main idea and important details as you go.
  • After reading, begin to model your summary using the Summary Raceway organizer and the Summary Raceway lined paper.
  • Follow the road on the organizer, and read each sign as you summarize. Focus on the story's main idea and important details as you summarize on lined paper.
  • Reread a few times, making sure your summary is accurate.
  • Once completed, reread one more time. Ask students to confirm that you included the main idea and important details while writing your summary. Take any questions or comments.
(15 minutes)
  • Read a second short passage or story. Tell students they will help you write the summary. Remind them to focus on the main idea and important supporting details.
  • When done reading, follow the Summary Raceway organizer a second time. Call on students to help you write the summary. Reread to make sure it's accurate.
(20 minutes)
  • Before allowing them to work independently, ask students if they understand the Summary Raceway organizer.
  • Reread the Summary Raceway poem a second time to motivate students to work independently.
  • Pass out a copy of the lined paper, Summary Raceway organizer, a passage or story, and the poem. Tell students they are going to read the passage/story and then write their summary. Remind them to use the organizer to help them.
  • Last, instruct your students to walk back to their desks/tables and begin.
  • Enrichment: Advanced students can be encouraged to write a summary without the Summary Raceway organizer.
  • Support: Struggling students can be paired with students who show strength in summarizing. In addition, depending on the reading level of the struggling student, have a few passages/stories available so each student experiences reading success.
(5 minutes)
  • As students work independently, walk around and check in with each student. Observe if students are reading and summarizing accurately or having difficulty with the organizer.
  • Record your observations.
  • If additional time is needed for assessment, make observations and notes during closing.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide the class into groups of 3-4. Each will share their summary.
  • Select 3 students to read their summary to the class. Have the audience share questions and comments.
  • Next, ask students what they have to include in a fiction summary.
  • To end the lesson, read the Summary Raceway poem one more time.

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