Who? Want? But? So? And then?

posted Sep 30, 2010, 4:02 AM by Patrick Johnson
In reading we have been working on summarizing texts. For the first couple of weeks, we were retelling texts using the format: beginning, middle and end. This tied into our reading strategy of Check for Understanding: Do I remember what has happened in the story?

During the last week or two we have switch to the format:
Who- is the story about?
Want- what does the character want in the story?
But-what problems does the character face?
So-how does the character overcome the problems?
And then- how does the story end?

I have been reading Franklin stories because each of these features are usually clearly defined. We started off writing summaries together on chart paper or the Smartboard. Yesterday, we used accountable talk to discuss each of these features and students then wrote the summaries in partners. Students will complete a couple more summaries in partners before they try it on their own. Gradually releasing more responsibility to the students sets students up to complete the task successfully.

This summary format also ties into our reading strategy of Monitor and Fix-Up. When we are reading we are constantly trying to make sense of the story. We ask ourselves:
What is happening in the story?
Can I describe the main character?
What problems is the character facing?
Is what I am reading making sense?

If we have trouble answering any of these questions then we use a Fix Up strategy such as Back Up & Re-read.

Below students brainstormed, using pictures and words, the different parts of the story. Each group had a few minutes to add their ideas to their section and then moved on to add their ideas to another section. By the end of the class, everyone had contributed their ideas to each part of the story: who, want, but, so, and then.

Completing the summary of the story in partners.