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Best-of-Smekens Writing Conference:
Writing Remix 2019


Writing About Reading


Write After-Reading Summaries in the Content Areas

Define the goal of a summary

Identify important information with Detail Lists

5-Point Detail List 
Template | Example

10-Point Detail List 
Template | Example

Oh, Yikes! History’s Grossest, Wackiest Moments

Lewis and Clark
Page 1 | Page 2

20-Point Detail List
Template | Example

Using text features, generate a Title-Wave Summary

Utilize the subheadings of a longer text to generate a summary after reading.

Complete an Information Pyramid

Students customize their understandings by completing an Information Pyramid with no one right answer.

Main Idea & Supporting Details
Template | Smartboard

Chronological (History)
Template | Smartboard

Cause & Effect
Template | Smartboard

Descriptive (Element/Concept)
Template | Smartboard

Support comprehensive summaries with frames

Students can hone their summarizing skills by completing the Somebody… Wanted… But… So… Then… frame.

Students’ oral and written summaries need to match the same text structure of the passage.

Shrink the summary

Once students can generate a summary, then whittle down to the main idea from there. Provide smaller and smaller paper (or decrease their word limit). Challenge them to emphasize the most important and utilize precise word choice to create a single-sentence main-idea statement on a sticky note.