Author:
Raeanna Carlson
Subject:
World Cultures, Composition and Rhetoric, Reading Informational Text
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Reading
Level:
High School
Grade:
9
Tags:
ELA, Holocaust, Informative Text, NE ELA, Nebraska Department of Education, NonFiction, Paragraph Shrinking, Partner, Reading, Summarization, Summary, ela, ne-ela, reading
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs

Education Standards

Summary Practice: Paragraph Shrinking

Summary Practice: Paragraph Shrinking

Overview

The purpose of this lesson is to help students develop their paraphrasing and summarizing skills. Focusing on the I do, We do, You do method, the lesson is collaborative between teachers and students. 

Objectives:

  • paraphrase information in a nonfiction text
  • connect like ideas and combine sentences
  • create a summary of a piece of nonfiction 
  • edit writing for mechanics, usage, grammar, and spelling errors
  • publish a summary 

Approx. Time: one week

Paragraph Shrinking

What is paragraph shrinking?

  • Paragraph shrinking is a structured way for students to learn how to quickly summarize (and take notes) on a text. After a student reads a paragraph, they then summarize that paragraph into their own words. (If the paragraphs are quite short, you can combine them together.) They are looking for specific details that are necessary to the understanding of the text. This will chunk up the text for students to increase comprehension. 

Objectives:

  • paraphrase information in a nonfiction text
  • connect like ideas and combine sentences
  • create a summary of a piece of nonfiction 
  • edit writing for mechanics, usage, grammar, and spelling errors
  • publish a summary 

Approx. Time: one week

I DO:

  • The teacher will demonstrate paragraph shrinking by shrinking the first two paragraphs of the document. Use think aloud, the teacher will speak aloud their thoughts and ideas to show students the cognitive process of making connections and creating brief statements that summarize the paragraph. Use a highlighter to identify the important words and phrases. This will help students visually see which pieces are important to the understanding of the material and which pieces are extra. 

WE DO:

  • As a class, you all will continue to shrink the rest of the paragraphs in the nonfiction text. 

I/WE DO:

  • Take all of the sentences and beging to sort them into like ideas. Students will notice that one sentnece and another may actually be saying the same thing, so practice combining the sentences and arranging them to make sense. You will need to show them how to add the transitional words between the sentences. Work together as a class to turn those sentences into a cohesive summary. This will a whole class period. 

YOU DO:

  • I suggest you pair the students with a partner and have them do the second text together to make the length less intimidating. The students will read together, paragraph shrink together, and write and edit the summary together. They will work within a shared document. 

THINGS TO NOTE:

  • Feel free to change the text. High-interest texts and topics work well.

  • You may have to do the chunking yourself instead of having the students chunk it. 

  • Expect the need to reteach some students how to identify key pieces of information in a text. 

  • Going slowly with save you time later in the school year. 

  • This isn't a perfect lesson, so please modify and adjust to suite your needs and your students. 

Resources

  • Use "Hitler Comes to Power" for the I DO and WE DO of the lesson. It is shorter and easier to work with. 

  • Use "Auschwitz" for the partner summary work. 

  • Feel free to edit and modify the rubric to fit your needs and your classroom. 

  • After we complete this assignment, I tend to show students a video relating to these two topics. 

    • VIDEO courtesy of the USHMM

      • I like to have the students write a reflection after watching the video and discuss how the video was either different of confirmed what they had read. I also encourage them to just react to the video and explain how it made them feel. The reflection is a completion grade for me.