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        Summarizing - Squirrel Rehabilitation

        Students use a graphic organizer to summarize important information from a video segment. They use their notes to write a summary of the video segment.

        Lesson Summary


        Students watch a video segment in which the speakers describe the value of rescuing and rehabilitating wild squirrels. As they watch, they complete a graphic organizer to sort important information needed to summarize the story. Then students write a well-constructed summary of the video segment using their notes. 

        Why is this an important concept?

        Summarization is an important skill in responding to literary texts. When students can summarize the plot of a story or presentation, this indicates thier knowledge of  the key points. Summarization involves putting the story into the student's own words, which helps students create meaning from texts. 

        Grade Level:


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        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Ask students to write a one-sentence summary of what they did yesterday. Students share their sentences with a classmate. Ask how they were able to write this one sentence to summarize the past 24 hours of their lives. What did they do to condense the day to only one sentence?

        2. Give each student a copy of the Summarizing Spider Web handout. Describe the five components of a story summary displayed by the web. Tell the class they are going to watch a video segment called "Squirrel Rehabilitation." Explain they will note the key events or points of the video on the lines provided by each component. Tell them the final task will be to use these notes to write a summary of the video segment.

        3. Explain to students that they will watch the video twice. As students watch for the first time, ask them to listen and watch in order to note the important ideas about the main character and setting. Ask them to also pay attention to what happens at the beginning, middle and end of the story. Play the segment.

        4. Discuss what the story was about. What was the main idea or purpose of the story?

        5. Show the segment again. This time, ask students to complete the Summarizing Spider Web handout by taking notes on the lines about the main character, setting, beginning, middle, and end of the story.

        6. Give students two minutes to share their notes with classmates.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:
        • Review note-taking strategies before watching the segment.
        • Provide assistance with taking notes while watching the video by pausing the video at intervals to allow students time to write.
        • Some students may also need assistance changing their notes into complete sentences and sequencing them to use in the summary. Model how to do this for them, then guide them in writing their sentences.
        • Provide opportunities for students to view the segment additional times.

        Part II: Assessment

        1. Distribute and discuss the Summarizing Proofreading Checklist handout so students understand the expectations for the written summary. Directions for use are on the handout. This handout is intended for use during peer writing conferences. Also distribute copies of the Squirrel Rehabilitation Transcript for students to refer to as they work on their summaries.

        2. Begin writing the summary together as a class by collaboratively writing the topic sentence. Then, direct students to begin with 1. Main Characters on the spider web and put their notes into sentences.

        3. When they are done, students do the same for story components 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the web. Students must use only their notes from the Summarizing Spider Web. They should not, for example, include their opinion.

        4. Next, students will peer-edit with a friend using the Summarizing Proofreading Checklist. Then, they will revise and produce a final copy. Use the Summarizing rubric to assess the summary. 


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