Monday, March 24, 2014

Summarize, Paraphrase, Quote?

As part of their biography project, grade 7 Humanities teachers invited me to talk with students about different ways to gather information from nonfiction books.

Grade 7 Guiding Question: What choices do we have for extracting information from a text?

Inspired by this anchor chart, I talked students through some visual note-taking to help them distinguish among three ways to record information from their text. 

As we talked about each one, I modeled my own "extractions" or recordings from my nonfiction text (First Step 2 Forever: My Story, by Justin Bieber - yes, this did get a laugh). Then students practiced each type with their own book.

Here's how we visualized the differences:

Quotation: recorded text is shown the same color as the original because the words are exactly the same. We only need to add quotation marks and a citation.

Paraphrase: recorded information is blue and is about the same length as the original text. The object is to reword the text, not just change the order of the words, so the recorded information is ALL blue. We also may need to add a citation to a paraphrase if the idea is new or questionable.

Summary: recorded information is one red sentence since it's a shortened version of the text. It's so condensed that no citation is needed.

Notes for ways to extract information

At the end of the lesson, it was important to reinforce the idea that students have a choice about how to record information they've learned.

If the words are so juicy, perfect, and couldn't be said better ourselves, which method should we choose?

If the words are a bit complicated, or we could easily write them in our own way, which should we choose?

If the words make up a long section with a key point but include many unnecessary details, which should we choose?

This was about a 20 minute lesson. I'll follow up next week to see how they are doing!

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