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The White Fox / After Reading / /

Summarising the Story

Studying the blurb and relating it to the whole story.

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from The White Fox series

Required reading: Whole book

Text potential

  • Literary features: Blurb

Strategies used

  • Text Marking
  • Comprehension: Summarising

Purpose

Summarising is a vital comprehension skill, as the ability to summarise means the reader can identify the most salient points. When asked to summarise, some children resort more readily to ‘plot telling’. This lesson looks at reading and writing a blurb as one way of writing a summary.

Preparation

  • Copies of The White Fox.at least one between two
  • Copies of the blurb, one per child

Process

Working in pairs, begin by asking children to discuss:

  • What are the most significant events in the story The White Fox?

Take suggestions from the children and write them on the whiteboard. Next, If you taught the lessons Quotations and Exploring Themes, refer back to the notes from your discussion.

Now ask:

  • Why do books have a blurb

Some of the reasons identified could be:

  • capture interest
  • summarise the story
  • make people want to read the book
  • help you make predictions. 

Some tips for success are:

  • Keep it short
  • Give an idea of what happens without giving anything away
  • Use key words from the story

Challenge the children to work with their partner to write a blurb for The White Fox in fifty words. 

Share blurbs and talk about whether it was easy or challenging to write them.

Finally, distribute copies of the blurb. Say:

  • You are only allowed to choose three words to sum up this story. Which three will you choose? 

Children can work individually or with a partner. Use highlighter pens to mark the three words — countdown from three when everyone should stop writing and show their sheet. 

Ask the children to look at the sheets of other children in their group:

  • Have you made the same choices? 
  • Can you explain how these words summarise the story? 

Final reflection

Point out the quotation in the blurb.

  • Can you write a different quotation that could be used on the back of the book?

Encourage the children to revisit the text to find a fitting quotation that could be used on the back of the book. Make a note of their suggestions.

Key vocabulary

blurb, summary, quote

Resources

White Fox Blurb

The White Fox Blurb

Contributors

Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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