Key concepts from CBA

Main Idea, Summarization, & Nonfiction

Summarizing for Informational and Expository text

"Ultimately, it is important to remember that summarizing is an in-the-head strategy

whose sole purpose is to help the reader comprehend text. Even though students are

required to write or select a good summary on proficiency tests, we want the learner to be

able to select the important ideas and carry them forward as tools of thought."

—Fountas and Pinnell, 2001

Using Comic Strips to Summarize nonfiction

Courtesy of

Comics, in and of themselves, are short visual ways to get across a huge message. That is basically what a summary does. It takes a lot of information and condenses it down to only the things that are absolutely necessary to get the point across. Perfect match!
So here is how the project goes:

We started by reading two texts about the Boston Tea Party (see that cross curricular integration there?? ;) hee hee). One was a non-fiction article from a teacher book about the Boston Tea Party. Then we read a graphic novel on the same subject called The Boston Tea Party (Graphic History). This book is GREAT! I really gets the point of the Boston Tea Party across, keeps the interest of the students, and helps them to understand the action with the dialogue and pictures. We compared the non-fiction text to the graphic novel to see how the graphic novel really summarized the history text. It was great to see how the important parts were pulled out and portrayed graphically.

The students then read a non-fiction article about one of the battles of the American Revolution. When they were pretty confident that they understood the information, including the pictures and captions, timelines, diagrams, etc..., the students created a flow map of the most important information.

After the flow map was complete, the students then were given a comic book template that I had previously printed from Comic Life itself. The amount of flows they created in the step above dictated which template they took. (truth be told, I showed them all the templates I had ahead of time so they could aim their flows to the correct amount) Then then had to create a graphic novel, in the style of the Boston Tea Party one we read, that told the story of the battle they each read about.

Once the templates were done, the students then drew the pictures individually WITHOUT the speech bubbles or white boxes. They used these, along with the capture feature on Comic Life, to get their own drawings on the computer.
Summarization 2 Explicit Teaching