Well, it’s finally the holidays and I’ve been looking back over some of my fav activities from this year.  For a long time, I’ve been looking for different ways to access and respond to non-fiction texts.  Kids often struggle with summarising, like the picture above I tend get back a recreated copy of the original rather than a true a summary.

I’ve tried a bunch of different things – here are a few that have worked for me.

Summarising with SUM


Although I really like this idea, it was too hard for the kids at first.  So I broke it down every more for them and taught each of the skills separately.

Firstly, skimming:


Next, scanning:


Finally, detailed reading and annotation:


These 3 steps seemed a much more engaging approach for students.  They were able to do both the skimming and scanning tasks without having to read every word.  Everything they picked out was connected to the main ideas in the texts.

The final activity enabled students to read in detail and make notes about their own response to the text, before discussing it as a whole classroom.

From this we moved back to summarise with SUM and the summary cube:


All in all, it’s taken a while but I think we are much more confident now.

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