A Summarizing Game that will Challenge and Excite

Do you shudder when it comes to getting your students to summarize?  Summarizing anything; a story, movie, or even what they did last night and still the kids moan and groan…maybe not out loud, but they do. It’s not something most anyone likes to do, even me!  My husband loves me , and too often even  I hear …”cut to the chase, Sue!”

A while back, I found myself reading a blog about summarizing, just by chance.  Today, I wish I had written the blog author’s name so I could given the writer credit for such a great idea.  Friends, if you recognize the blogger’s idea and know their name, please leave me a comment so I can give them credit.

Any who, back to the idea!!!  The author called it “Inside, Outside.”   On your SMARTboard or whiteboard, draw a large circle and a second much smaller circle inside the first.  Locate the second circle in the middle of the first circle.

So here ‘s where the summarizing comes in!  We have worked to summarize since the first week of school.  I have encouraged the students to use fewer words and concentrate on the important events in whatever we have been reading.  I have the students put their summary on a small post-it note.  Nooww, here’s how the game works!

Each student puts their post-it note on the whiteboard outside the large circle when they finish…no name, but I know each of my kids’ handwriting…they just don’t know that.  I then read each post-it out loud and the class decides where the post-it note belongs.  The better the summary, the closer to the inner circle goes the post-it.  Those notes the students decide have missed the big idea(s) may not enter the larger circle.  The picture below shows that several summaries hit the bull’s eye…voted by the class.img_11461

The kids LOVE this game and part of it is the fact that THEY are deciding where the summary goes, not me.  I do occasionally use a veto if I feel the class has been unduly harsh is voicing their opinion as to where the post-it should be located.

It’s a quick and easy check to identify those students who are still having trouble finding the big ideas…note those who are still on the line or completely outside the large circle.  So the work continues on summarizing and my students continue to ask to play to game!

Love,

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