Writing a Summary: “Middle Ages” Excerpt 1 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M2B:U1:L3

Writing a Summary: “Middle Ages” Excerpt 1

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can determine the main idea of an informational text based on details in the text. (RI.6.2)
  • I can summarize an informational text using only information from the text. (RI.6.2)
  • I can analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits in and contributes to the development of ideas in a text. (RI.6.5)

Supporting Targets

  • I can determine the main idea of Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages."
  • I can summarize Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages."
  • I can explain how a section of text contributes to the meaning of the whole of Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages."

Ongoing Assessment

  • QuickWrite 1 (from homework)
  • Summary Writing graphic organizer for Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages"
  • Written summary of Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages" 

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Homework QuickWrite (7 minutes)

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Introducing Summary Writing Graphic Organizer (20 minutes)

B. Writing a Summary (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Sharing Summaries (6 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Reread "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1. Answer this question on your Homework: Research Ideas handout. 

  • This is the second lesson in the two-lesson cycle. Students will write a summary of the excerpt of text read in the previous lesson and analyze how part of the text contributes to the whole text.
  • For homework, students already did a QuickWrite in which they analyzed how part of the text fits into the whole text to address RI.6.5. This is reviewed in detail at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Students use a Summary Writing graphic organizer to identify a main idea and key details to include in their summary. The start of this process is modeled for students, and they work in pairs to complete it. The start of the process of writing a summary using the organizer is then modeled for students, and they work in pairs to finish writing the summary.
  • To encourage students to begin thinking ahead, for homework they begin to think about which group of people they would like to focus their research on. They will revise their thinking on this after reading the next excerpt of text in the next two lessons.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

main idea, summary

Materials

  • "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 (from Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Summary Writing graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Lined paper (one piece per student)
  • Homework: Research Ideas (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Homework QuickWrite (7 minutes)

  • Invite students to reread "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1.
  • Remind students of the focus question for homework:

* "The second paragraph states, 'Many people lived their entire lives in one village or manor. They were born to a certain social position and stayed in that position. Those who wanted something more had few choices. For all but the wealthiest, life was extremely hard.' How does this part of the text introduce the people of the Middle Ages and prepare us for the ideas in the rest of the excerpt?

  • Explain that in both informational and literary texts, certain significant sentences or phrases can have an impact on the meaning of the whole text and on the development of ideas within a text. Remind students that for homework, they analyzed the impact the sentences they were given have on the text as a whole. Ask them to share their QuickWrite responses to this question with an elbow partner.
  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that the sentences describe social positions and set us up to understand that people in the Middle Ages faced adversities. It prepares us for the idea that the next part of the text will develop this idea by addressing the difficulties people faced.
  • Opening the lesson by asking students to share their homework makes them accountable for completing it. It also gives you the opportunity to monitor which students are not doing their homework.
  • Consider pairing ELLs who speak the same first language in order to deepen their discussion and understanding.

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

* "I can determine the main idea of Excerpt 1 of 'Middle Ages.'"

* "I can summarize Excerpt 1 of 'Middle Ages.'"

* "I can explain how a section of text contributes to the meaning of the whole of Excerpt 1 of 'Middle Ages.'"

  • Ask:

* "What is a main idea?"

* "What is a summary?"

  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for them to say that a main idea is an idea that runs throughout the text. Make it clear that there can be more than one main idea in a text. Listen also for students to explain that a summary is an outline of the key points and details in a text.
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Reviewing the key academic vocabulary in learning targets can prepare students for vocabulary they may encounter in the lesson.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Summary Writing Graphic Organizer (20 minutes)

  • Distribute the Summary Writing graphic organizer and display a copy using a document camera. Tell students that this organizer will help them to think through the main idea and key details in a text in order to write a summary of it. Tell them that eventually they will no longer need to use the organizer because they will remember the steps of the process without it.
  • Ask them to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "Why is summary writing a useful skill? When do we need to write summaries?"

  • Cold call students to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that summary writing is a useful skill when researching because it can help you to remember the key ideas in a text. Tell students that they are going to be researching in the next few lessons, so this skill will be useful then.
  • Read the instructions at the top of the organizer and move on to draw students' attention to the first box: Main Idea. Remind them that a main idea is an idea that runs throughout the text.
  • Ask pairs to take a few minutes to review their gist notes and identify a main idea--an idea that runs throughout the text.
  • Invite volunteers to share their ideas with the whole group. Listen for them to explain that in the Middle Ages, a lot of people, regardless of their position in society, faced adversity. Serfs, lords, ladies, knights, and women all faced adversities, some worse than others.
  • Record this main idea in the Main Idea box on the displayed organizer and invite students to do the same on their organizers.
  • Refocus students on the Key Details boxes. Explain that the key details are the most important details in the article.
  • Ask pairs to review their gist notes, paragraph by paragraph, to identify the key details--the most important details.
  • Invite volunteers to share their ideas with the whole group. Listen for students to suggest that the first key detail is that some historians think the Middle Ages began in A.D. 476 and ended in 1500.
  • Record this key detail in the first Key Detail box on the displayed organizer and invite students to do the same on their own organizers.
  • Invite students to work in pairs to add other key details they identified. Emphasize that they do not need to fill all of the boxes; they may find that many key details, but they may not. Encourage them to focus on the most important details.
  • Circulate to support students by asking:

* "What seems most important from this section of the article? Why?"

* "If someone hadn't read this article, what would he most need to know?"

  • Refocus whole group and invite students to share their key details. Listen for them to list:

-    "People were born into a social position and stayed there."

-    "Lords managed areas of land."

-    "Lords' wives managed the manor when they were away."

-    "Women had no rights."

-    "Serfs were owned by the lord and worked on the land."

  • Record these on the displayed organizer and invite students to modify their organizers as they think necessary based on the ideas they hear from other students.
  • Graphic organizers and recording forms engage students more actively and provide the scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning. For students who need additional support, you may want to provide a partially filled-in graphic organizer.
  • When reviewing graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.

B. Writing a Summary (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they can now use the information they have recorded on their organizer to write a summary. Model a think-aloud on how to start this on the board, referring to the displayed Summary Writing graphic organizer. Say:

* "So, looking at my main idea and my key details, I'm going to include my first key detail in with the main idea like this."

  • Write on the board:

-    "In the Middle Ages, which some historians believe began in A.D. 476 and ended in 1500, a lot of people, regardless of their position in society, faced adversity. Serfs, lords, ladies, knights, and women all faced adversities, some worse than others."

  • Say:

* "Now I'm going to start including the rest of my key details, so I'm going to make my next sentence--"

  • Write on the board:

-    "People were born into a social position and stayed there."

  • Distribute lined paper. Invite students to work in pairs, using their completed Summary Writing graphic organizers to write a summary paragraph. Encourage them to use the one you have written as a starting point and then to build on it with the rest of the key details.
  • Circulate to support pairs in writing a summary. Ask guiding questions:

* "How can you organize these details into a sentence? It will sound strange if you make lots of small sentences using each of your key details, so how can you combine some of them to make a longer sentence?"

  • Consider grouping students who may need additional support together and working with them as a group.
  • Encourage students who struggle to say their sentences aloud to you before they write them down.
  • Consider allowing struggling students to write just the remaining part of the summary, rather than requesting that they include the part you have modeled. This will give them time to focus on thinking about the final section of the summary.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Sharing Summaries (6 minutes)

  • Invite students to pair up with someone else to share their summaries.
  • Encourage them to revise their summaries based on their new partner's work, if they think it's necessary.
  • Select some volunteers to share their summaries with the whole class.
  • Distribute Homework: Research Ideas.
  • Allowing students to pair up to share work can provide them with informal peer feedback and enable them to revise their work based on what they see in the work of others.

Homework

Homework
  • Reread "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1. Answer this question on your Homework: Research Ideas handout:

- "Which of the groups of people in this excerpt would you like to do further research on? Which group interests you most so far? Why?"

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