In this lesson, students will connect to the essential question, "What do the effects of life events look like?" through the skill of summarizing. To answer that question, students will summarize a slam poem, a short story, and a recent Presidential speech. To make a personal connection to the skill of summarizing, students will write a tweet that reflects their own life event. To summarize the lesson, students will write a summary of what the effects of life events look like to them.
What do the effects of life events look like?
To activate prior knowledge of the summarization skill, students write a First Word, Last Word acronym.
Students watch the slam poem "Knock Knock" and apply the 4-2-1 strategy for a summary of the poem.
Upon reading John Steinbeck's short story, "Why Soldiers Won't Talk," students engage in a thinking strategy to identify the main ideas of the passage and then craft a paragraph summary.
To apply the summarization skill, students write a summary tweet of a personal life event.
Students' summaries of what life events' effects look like are assessed. Students self-analyze their understanding by reading and summarizing President Obama's speech about Orlando and complete the second part of the First Word, Last Word strategy.
"Why Soldiers Won't Talk" by John Steinbeck (attached; one per student)
"Knock Knock" slam poem by Daniel Beaty (linked below)
President Obama's Speech (attached; one per student)
Tweet Writing handout (attached; one per student)
Main Idea handout (attached; one per student)
Lesson Slides (attached)
Student devices with internet connection (for access to YouTube, Poll Everywhere, President Obama's speech, etc.)
Writing utensils: pens, pencils, notebook paper, etc.
Large pieces of paper
Using the attached Lesson Slides, introduce students to the essential question on slide 3: What do the effects of life events look like?
Go to slide 4 and display the learning objective: Students will be able to summarize the effects of various life events.
Go to slide 5. As a pre-reading activity, participate in the First Word, Last Word strategy using the word SUMMARY.
Write the word SUMMARY on the board vertically and ask students to think about what they already know about summaries. Explain that they are to use what they already know about what a summary is and what they know about how to summarize to write a sentence for each letter. Begin the activity by modeling the first letter, "S- Summaries are not multiple pages long." To do this, simply click "next" on the power point to show the example on the slide.
Instruct students to finish their SUMMARY acronym independently. Once students are finished with the acronym poem, ask for a few students to share out for each letter. Example - Student 1, "S stands for summaries are not multiple pages long." Student 2, "U stands for understanding the material is necessary to write a summary." Facilitate a whole group discussion that summarizes what students already know about summarization.
Pick up the papers when students are finished to informally assess what students already know and keep them for the Evaluate portion of this lesson.
Display slide 6 and inform your students that as they watch the slam poem, Knock Knock, they will apply the 4-2-1 strategy to generate a summary. The 4-2-1 strategy provides an opportunity to generate and share the four important ideas of the poem in complete sentences.
Display slide 7 and place your students into pairs. Instruct them to share the most important main ideas that they have written with each other and then agree on the two most important ideas from them.
Display slide 8 and combine partners into groups of four. Inform them that an effective summary condenses information, creates a clear picture of the material, and reflects the author's point of view.
Pass out a piece of butcher paper and marker to each group and instruct the groups to take the important main ideas from both partnerships and use them as guiding sentences to write a summary of the poem with the essential question in mind.
Once the groups have finished, have students tape them on the walls around the room.
Display slide 9 and inform your students that, using sticky notes, they will now participate in a Gallery Walk and read each of the summaries.
Have students use their sticky notes to write two constructive critiques on two different summaries. Read a few of the best summaries that are taped on the wall out loud to the class. Explain the strong and good parts of the summaries that you shared and what makes them effective and thorough summaries. Point out how they reflected the essential question.
Pass out the short story "Why Soldiers Won't Talk" by John Steinbeck and the "Main Idea" handout.
Go to slide 10 and instruct students to complete the "Main Idea" handout as they read the short story. It will serve to help them identify the main ideas of the text and the key details that support the main ideas.
Once they are finished, display slide 11 and have students turn to an Elbow Partner. Elbow partners will exchange papers and discuss any differences between them.
Once students are finished comparing and contrasting their graphics, display slide 12 and instruct students to independently write a summary of the text, "Why Soldiers Won't Cry" on lined paper reflecting on the essential question. Remind students that an effective summary condenses information, creates a clear picture of the material, and reflects the author's point of view. Student summaries should include the following:
Minimum of 10 complete sentences
Must reflect the essential question: "What do the effects of life events look like?"
Sentences must be original sentences that condense the information, not copied sentences from the text
The reader of the paragraph should have a clear picture of the material
When students have finished their summaries, display slide 13 and have them exchange papers with a partner. Instruct them that after they read each other's summary, they are to write one thing they notice and one thing they wonder at the bottom of their partner's summary paper and return it to the author using the I Notice, I Wonder Strategy.
Once the author has received their paragraph back, have students read the peer comments and edit/revise to improve to their summary based on the one thing noticed and one thing wondered about their paper.
Have students turn in the summaries for a formative assessment.
Go to slide 14. Give students two to three minutes to brainstorm life events that they have gone through and their effects. They can be general life events or personal life events, such as getting a driver's license, a major breakup, a football game, etc.
Lead a discussion about hashtags and how they use them on Twitter. Display slide 15 of some popular tweets on the board and explain the purpose, the character limit, and the use of hashtags. The hashtags should reflect the message (theme) of the event, not their feeling about the event.
Now, give students a few moments to go through and write hashtags for their different life events. Instruct students to talk about them or work together as needed.
Pass out the "Tweet Writing" handout and instruct students to choose one of their hashtags of a life event to write a summary using the Tweet Up strategy. Display slide 16 for guidance.
The tweet writing can be completed on lined paper or on the printed tweet worksheet. Alternatively, students can also tweet using their phones. You can create a free online account to Poll Everywhere. It can be set up for students to send the tweets to and can be displayed in front of the class. Students end their tweets with the accompanying summary hashtag.
After the tweets are finished, have volunteers share out their tweets with the class. As a class, end this part of the lesson by collaboratively writing a definition of summary and writing a tweet on the board that summarizes the learning that has taken place about summarization along with a hashtag.
Pass out the attached President Obama's Speech and share the beginning of the speech with students.
Students will then finish President Obama's speech about the Orlando shootings by reading the rest. The speech can be read as a whole class, as partners, or independently.
Display slide 18 that has a T-chart example of the different texts of the lesson:
the poem, "Knock, Knock"
the short story, "Why Soldiers Won't Talk"
their own life events
President Obama's speech about the Orlando shootings
Pass out the "T-Chart" handout and lead students in stating some of the effects of each text. As students identify them, list what some of the effects were in the right column of the T-chart. Have students fill in their own chart also and then tell them to add to their own T-Chart with other effects they think of.
Display slide 19 and have students write a summary of what the effects of life events look like on lined paper. These summaries should include the following:
Minimum of 10 complete sentences.
Must reflect the essential question: "What do the effects of life events look like?"
Sentences must be original sentences that condense the information, not copied sentences.
The reader of the paragraph should have a clear picture of the material.
After students have written their summary, students will complete the second part of the First Word, Last Word strategy, using the word SUMMARY to reflect on their understanding of summary.
Display slide 20. Pass out a piece of lined paper to every student.
Explain that now that they have learned and practiced the summary skill, they are to use what they have learned about summarizing to write a sentence for each letter.
Once students are finished with the acronym poem, pass out their original acronyms from the beginning of the lesson, have them compare the two, and examine how it aligns with their current thinking.
Beaty, D. (2013, December 17). Knock knock [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTZrPVqR0D8
K20 Center. (n.d.). 4-2-1. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/142
K20 Center. (n.d.). Elbow Partners. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/116
K20 Center. (n.d.). First Word, Last Word. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/148
K20 Center. (n.d.). Gallery Walk. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/118
K20 Center. (n.d.). I Notice, I Wonder. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/180
K20 Center. (n.d.). Poll Everywhere. Tech Tools. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/tech-tool/662
K20 Center. (n.d.). Tweet Up. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/130
Luckerson, V. (2019, March 5). The 10 most popular tweets of all time. https://time.com/4263227/most-popular-tweets/
Obama, B. (2016, June 12). Speech on the Orlando nightclub shootings [Address]. White House, Washington D.C., U.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArkIHIyAkdY
Steinbeck, J. (2012). Why soldiers won’t talk. In Granata, D. (2020). Ms. Granata's Site. http://drgranata.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/why_soldiers_wont_talk_steinbeck.pdf (Original work published 1943).