Each year during poetry, we read Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.
If you haven't had the chance to read this book, pick up a copy ASAP! Each year, my students LOVE it and they really connect to the main character, Jack.
I decided to tackle summary writing using this book. We started by focusing on the main idea. A few years back, I learned name it, verb it, end it at a training. Since this book is set up in journal entries, we decided to summarize each month of entries. For the first week, we just did name it (ex. The March Entries), verb it (author's purpose), and finish it (the main idea). My students did a fantastic job with it and soon they were writing a very successful summarizing sentence. Here's an example:
Then we moved on to three important details in sequence. This took us a couple of weeks. I spent a lot of time talking about how to identify the important details and be sure that they supported the main idea. We had a lot of "oh no's" at first, but by the end of the book, my students were very successful with this.
Once my students could fill up the whole organizer, all they had to do was put it all together for a beautiful, four-sentence summary of each month of entries.
Of course, the true test of all of this was to see whether they would be able to use what they learned to write a successful book summary on their final test. Well....they did it! In fact, when my students tested on this book, they did exceptionally well! I'm currently working on a literature pack for Love That Dog and hope to post it on Teachers Pay Teachers soon. In the meantime, if you'd like to use the graphic organizers above, I have them listed on Teachers Pay Teachers at Summary Writing Organizers.
Even though poetry month is winding down, my students have begged for us to read Hate That Cat next. Good thing that I already have 30 copies handy! Now to decide what strategy to focus on with this one...
I'm off to see Les Misérables today. It's been a great week. I won $100 gift certificate at our Festival of the Arts raffle at school to a venue that has lots of great shows each season! I never seem to win anything and I am a musical fanatic so I was thrilled to win! We're already season ticket holders to another venue that does a Broadway series so winning that raffle means even more shows for me! I am really looking forward to Les Mis today, since I have yet to see it and held off on seeing the movie. I am sad, however, that it will be the last show of the 2012-2013 season and I won't likely see another show until November. So far my favorite one this season has been Mary Poppins, but we'll see after today!
Tomorrow I am running in my first 5k. It's called Color Me Rad. You get blasted with non-toxic paint the whole time you are running. I've walked a 5k before, but this will be my first run with my very athletic hubby. Hopefully I can keep up with him!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!