My kids struggle with the idea of summarizing a story. They have a lot of trouble picking out the main ideas or events that occur in narratives they read. After coming upon the oldy, but goody “Jack and the Beanstalk” on an audio book website called Light Up Your Brain, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to practice this skill while continuing our adventure using online audio books.
The kids had all heard the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but the original story which we were about to read was full of wonderful, rich vocabulary. I created a list of 18 of words I thought my kids would struggle with and linked that document on “Today’s Jobs“. I had them all pull that list up on their laptops and we went over them together, discussing if we’d seen them before and using them to predict what might happen in this version of the story.
I also created a very simple template for the kids to fill out (with their pencils) as they read/listened to the story. It basically had 4 large boxes on each page where the kids were to write only the important things that Jack does throughout the story. They were given three of these sheets, so they had to limit the important events to 12 at the most! (I linked the template on our Today’s Jobs page as well, just in case someone “messed up” and needed another, they could take the initiative to solve the problem and print a new one. Wireless is wonderful!) The kids were told we would be using these very important planning sheets to develop virtual comic strips tomorrow. Oh, boy! That piqued their interest!
There was silence for the rest of the morning! Engagement, reading, listening, pausing, thinking, deciding, writing, planning….
Picture Credit: Spysgrandson via Flickr