If you are developing lesson plans on summary writing skills you might feel as if your back is up against a wall. Alas, there is hope for the teacher in distress. It is not as difficult as it may seem. Summary writing skills are built upon over time.
Students who can write good summaries, are in effect demonstrating that they clearly understand the storyline or if it is nonfiction, the text. Additionally, a solid summary does not have too much or too little information. This is where you as the teacher comes into play. You are tasked with helping students to demonstrate the cognitive understanding of writing summaries. This is how lesson plans on summary writing skills become the necessity instead of an optional teaching tool.
Getting Started in Writing Your Lesson Plan
Think back to the first time when you were challenged to write a one paragraph summary of a book or movie. If you look at it from the standpoint of the glass being half empty, then the once daunting task could seem near impossible. How can you fit everything about the story in one paragraph, and where should you begin may have been the questions that were running through your mind.
Now you see what your students are thinking. As you prepare your lesson plan you should keep that in mind and work towards alleviating the mental stress that many students may encounter when trying to fuse their thoughts with the right words in order to come up with the best possible summary. Your lesson plan should reflect strategies for the students to employ when writing summaries.
Consider the notions of breaking down and digesting the material.
- Students should be able to divide the material to be summarized into a few parts. Doing this will help them to see all of the material more clearly. This should be one of your objectives that you list on your lesson plan.
- Encourage the students to read and re-read through the text that will be summarized carefully.
- They need to see what the author is trying to convey stylistically as well as any themes or ideas that are interwoven throughout the text.
- During this process the students should put an asterisk next to key points that they want to emphasize within their summaries.
- Tell students that they should pull a lead sentence from the text that they want to lead with and create pointers that will support the lead sentence while summarizing the text.
Tips for Lesson Plans on Summary Writing
- Give a solid definition of a summary so that students are not confused.
- Include your goals and objectives for the summary writing skills lesson. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish, what you want the students to learn, and how your lesson will better align with the mandatory state standards for literature.
- Ease the tension, and anxiety that students have surrounding the summary writing process. Revert back to how you felt when you were first tasked with writing summaries in high school. Provide students with solid strategies for writing summaries as well as for improving their overall writing skills.
- Encourage students to break down and digest the material one paragraph at a time. Have them read through the material several times and highlight or outline anything that stands out to them. Have them place asterisks by the phrases or sentences that may prove to be a main point of their summaries.
- Encourage students to flush out the text by reading carefully - paying special attention to what they author conveys stylistically as well as texturally and thematically.
- Ask the students to either come up with an original hypothesis or to pull a lead sentence that will propel the summary.
- Write out your step-by-step procedures and include any materials that you may feel that you need.
By following the above outlined tips for lesson plans on summary writing skills, you will find that your students will be more than happy to pump out summary after summary on just about any material that you give them.