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        The important skill of paraphrasing is initially interrogated in this lesson and eventually plans relating to summarizing and quoting will be added. There is an interactive equivalent to this plan, "Paraphrasing In a Pinch", which can be used in a classroom that has an electronic device for each student and a strong WiFi signal. The interactive plan can also be used to flip a classroom.

        Lesson Summary

        This lesson teaches students how to quickly paraphrase text accurately while still explaining what it says explicitly and drawing correct inferences. Students do this through engaging each other via a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led). Through a diverse set of partners, students are encouraged to share their own ideas and others’ ideas to eventually master the process of paraphrasing. The lesson will reach these goals per the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model (GRRM) via a four-step process that starts with the teacher modeling learned behavior.

        1. I Do It: Teacher tells/projects a story, or text, and paraphrases it on board. Check for understanding: Student groups paraphrase together on a big group poster.

        2. We Do It: Teacher tells/projects a story or text and students help/direct paraphrasing of it on the board. Check for understanding: Student pairs paraphrase the same text in pairs on paper.

        3. You Do It Together: Student partners paraphrase a text, or story card (different card per pair). Check for understanding: Some student pairs come up and share both text and their paraphrase of it. (Determine who shares by ‘numbered heads’ strategy, or other)

        4. You Do It Alone: A new short text is projected (or put under doc cam) for individual students to paraphrase on their own. Check for understanding: Students turn in paraphrase for assessment.

        Note: This Lesson has an interactive lesson, which is meant for students that miss class or can be used to flip a classroom. If you are in a computer lab, or have a class set of electronic devices, the interactive plan can be used. Once inside the plan, there are slides which will appear to the right. If you are on a tablet or a smart phone use the "next" button at the bottom to access slides.

        Time Allotment

        • One 90 min class OR two 45 min classes

        Learning Objectives

        • I can read information and write it in my own words 
        • I can pick out the important parts of a text
        • I can reorder the information
        • I can add words and/or sentences

        Prep for Teachers

        • Consider explaining the importance of paraphrasing in and outside of school
        • Consider starting a list of vocabulary words to be posted somewhere for the week (or month) starting with the words: paraphrase, summary, inference, quoting, etc.
        • Consider using a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast paraphrase and summarize
        • Consider telling a personal story for the first procedure in Part I. Funny or weird stories tend to capture the imagination and engage students a lot more than factual texts. Or use the story in the interactive plan.



        • Large poster board or piece of butcher paper for each student group
        • Paper or Student Journal, pens, pencils etc. for student pair work
        • Text cards or “Paraphrasing Task Cards” or a story
        • Chalkboard or dry erase board

        Multimedia Resources

        • Class computer with projector OR document camera (i.e. Elmo doc cam etc.)
        • Via Chromebooks, I-pads, or computer lab: maybe consider using google docs (or google classroom) to capture student work digitally to review progress, or assess later.
        • If you are in a computer lab, or have a class set of electronic devices, the interactive plan can be used. Once inside the plan, there are slides which will appear to the right. If you are on a tablet or a smart phone use the "next" button at the bottom to access slides.


        Introductory Activity

        For this lesson the first GRRM step starts with an “I Do It” activity, which requires the students simply observe the teacher telling a story about his/her weekend, or reading an informational text, and paraphrasing it on the board. It is important for a teacher to out loud explain their paraphrasing process. The board is erased. Then the teacher will repeat the story (or text) and students will paraphrase it on a large piece of paper that each group will use later to share out (each student has a different colored marker). Students will be encouraged to change words, shorten sentences and reorder some events, etc. The teacher walks around while groups paraphrase, and finally student groups share out.

        Learning Activities

        The next GRRM step is the “We Do It Together” activity where the teacher will read a short informational text that is projected. The students will lead the teacher in the creation of a list of important elements from the text, which will be written on a whiteboard/chalkboard/smartboard/etc. From the list students and the teacher will look for words that can be changed, repeated ideas eliminated, or extraneous adjectives crossed off. The board will be erased. Next students will work in pairs to paraphrase the same text on a piece of paper. Partners will share out their sentences.

        The third GRRM step is the “You Do It Together” activity where the instructor passes out short text cards to partners. Students are given time to read and understand their texts--each pair gets a different text. Partners will work to paraphrase their text on a piece of paper using the skills just learned (i.e. creating a list of important elements, changing some words and looking for synonyms, and finally changing the order of elements a little.) Finally have some students share first their original text, then their paraphrased text--if there is a document cam in the room, project each text card for each student pair.

        Culminating Activity

        The final GRRM step is the “You Do It Alone” activity where the individual student is finally released to paraphrase on their own. The instructor will put another original short text on the doc cam, or project one, and each student will be required to paraphrase on their own in a journal on a separate piece of paper. The teacher can read the journal entries later (or turned in paper) to check for understanding and plan differentiation for individual students. 


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