September Swap & Share: The Tattooed Teacher's Sweet Summarizing

Summarizing is a reading skill that my students struggle with every year and one I spend a huge amount of time teaching. Readers need summarizing because it improves their memory for what was read and improves comprehension and understanding of what is read. When students can grasp the most important part of the text and put it in their own words this helps them understand the importance of what they read. Getting them to narrow down the main idea and support it with the key details is often a challenge.

I'm excited to be part of this September Product Swap and to test out a great product!

THANK YOU Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher, for creating this set of organizers, Sweet Summarizing, that I can use with my students along the road to learning this vital reading strategy!

I love using graphic organizers because they can be used over and over with a variety of text and at a variety of levels. They are perfect for differentiating during reading time. So, now take a peek at how I used this awesome set in my 3rd grade classroom over the last week.

Since I use the CAFE menu in my classroom, I was able to connect this lesson very easily. I first taught the strategy "use main idea and supporting details to determine importance". They need to understand this first before beginning a summary and there are some terms they need to understand, so I whipped up this anchor chart:

Using the gradual release model, I modeled (I DO) was using text we had already read. I went through each term. Then as a whole group (WE DO), we practiced with another piece we had previously read. For the YOU DO part, they used a short piece of text from their Reader's Think Book (see post HERE about how I use these for homework) to practice with a partner. We came back as a group and discussed what they came up with. This took lots of modeling and discussing over several days.

Now it was time to move on to discussing summarizing. I added Rachel's summarizing poster to the anchor chart I created and I gave each student the Summary Tool Kit to use a reference sheet. These will stay in their reader's notebooks all year. As you can see, we'll refer to this for fiction and other nonfiction pieces. This day we were focusing on biography.

As a whole group, we completed this fun foldable created specifically for a biography which is also kept in the notebook.

The next organizer is one of my favorites and the kids were super excited about it, too. The ABC Summary. After much talk and reading about Johnny Appleseed over the last week or so, it was time to put that knowledge to practice.  I love this organizer because it forced the students to think about the most important words they could think of that tell about Johnny Appleseed.
I will later use this organizer for students to collect words about a given topic and then use those words as notes to write a research paper. It will eliminate the problem of plagiarism because they have to use the ABC Summary to report on a specific subject. I just LOVE this one!! I can imagine many uses, again throughout the whole year!

This Learning Frame is the last organizer that I will use my kiddos in this lesson. We haven't finished them yet because, as you know, this strategy takes time and we just weren't able to complete these yet. I will use these as a formative assessment tool. Initially, they will use the frame and later in the year, I  will take the frame away and have them write on their own.

I will use all of these over and over again as the year continues along with the other organizers in this pack!! I can not say enough about it!
Please visit Rachel's blog.
Don't forget to head on over to her TpT store, too!

Be sure to check out these other fabulous products in this share and swap! Unfortunately, I can not get the link to work so you can see the other products! PLEASE head over to the Tattooed Teacher for the link! THANKS!





  1. I have used the Somebody, Wanted, But, So summary before but I really like the biography and non-fiction version you showed - those look great. Thanks for sharing how you used this and how you gradually release responsibility to your students! Great post - need to pin it : )

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