Elements of historical fiction and summarization strategies
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Elements of Historical Fiction and Summarization Strategies. EDC423 Dr. Julie Coiro. Today’s Learning Objectives. 1. Consider the challenges involved with teaching and learning how to summarize

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Today’s Learning Objectives

  • 1. Consider the challenges involved with teaching and learning how to summarize

  • 2. Apply summarization strategies using a variety of supportive advanced organizers and strategy prompts

  • 3. Identify the elements of quality historic fiction in Running Out of Time


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Reflecting on Completing a Summary Chart While Reading A Novel

  • Work with your group members to discuss your reactions to completing the “Summary Chart” for Hollis Woods.

    • Please frame your thinking in the benefits and challenges to this activity

    • Bonus: Consider other ways you might have organized a summary chart to emphasize big ideas in the book – be creative!

    • Use a section of the board space to post your ideas.



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Challenges of NovelSummary Chart

  • X


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Benefits of Summary Chart Novel

  • Organized; forces students to be concise

  • Quick reference, quotes easily available,

  • A mini-timeline, helps with memory;

  • Forces students to focus & keep up with reading;

  • Helps measure understanding of content;

  • Helps students think while read; points out main ideas;

  • Ensures comprehension


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Challenges with NovelSummary Chart

  • Large handwriting; What if student loses it?

  • Challenging for disorganized students

  • Confusion over “inner thought”

  • Don’t want kids to just focus on picking quotes rather than absorbing content; or get caught up in too much detail rather than reading

  • Hard to put down key ideas for some students;

  • Hard to pick “important quotes” and main points (needs modeling);


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Summarizing: Define/Explain Novel

  • “Restating the essence of the text in a new manner using as few words as possible”

    • Vs. Retelling: in-depth account of facts and details

    • Vs. Synthesizing: interpreting and creating your own ideas

    • Summarizing actually begins before you start reading!Set a purpose and predict/monitor/verify.

    • Quality of summary depends on depth of understanding

  • Process and product of summarizing depends on the type of text and purpose for reading (e.g., fiction/non-fiction)


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Summarizing Novel (Define/Explain)

  • Effective frameworks for…

  • Summarizing fiction > ???

    • Story elements (beg/mid/end >> setting, characters, problem, key events, solution, ending)

  • Summarizing non-fiction > ???

    • Key ideas and relationships between (main idea/detail; compare/contrast; cause/effect)


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Summarizing Novel

  • Requires high level thinking processes

    • Analyze and then…

    • Delete, substitute, keep, reword

    • Must be aware of text structure

    • Must be metacognitive and able to monitor

  • Problems:

    • Not sure what’s important, too much information (retell everything); not enough of the important information, and not know how to “use their own words”


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Summarizing (Modeling) Novel

  • Helpful to start with pictures/photos and real-life experiences (movies, weekend, game, etc.)

  • Think-aloud is key, but difficult! One way to model summarizing with informational text: CHoMP

    • Cross out small words, such as prepositions & conjunctures

    • Highlight important information in the remaining text;

    • o (since this is just a placeholder, students have fun substituting other vowels)

    • Make notes based on the highlighted information by abbreviating, truncating, making lists, using symbols, and drawing instead of writing full sentences;

    • Put the notes in their own words.


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Summarizing Novel(Practice – let strategy gel)

  • Once you have modeled how summarizing works, you might try using concrete cognitive organizers and provide multiple & different opportunities for practice

    • Story frames (Frame It In 5)

    • Somebody/Wanted/But/So

    • Wrap It Up In A Quote

    • Make It Your Own

    • The Big Sketch


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Elements of Historical Fiction Novel

  • Realistic fiction set in the historical past

  • Share a sense of the time period and a rousing story that actually could have taken place

  • Plot, setting, character, theme,

  • New Trends:

    • Historical picture books (for younger & older students)

    • Historical fiction series (Dear America by Scholastic)


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Types of Historical Fiction Novel

  • Historically researched with imaginary characters: invented character lives amid authentic events, settings, and issues

  • Historical period piece: historical context focuses on social customs, values, and practices of the period

  • Time travel: Contemporary characters transported to the past and return with deeper understanding of history

  • Personal chronicle: author relieves memories and experiences through documented journal entries

  • Where does Running Out of Time fit in?


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Benefits of Historical Fiction Novel

  • Presents historical facts through everyday life of young people

  • Provides personal interaction with and understanding of people, places, and events (attitudes, social conditions)

  • Enjoyment in a literary genre steeped in historical accuracy yet focused on strong characters

    • The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker (Modern day health and witchcraft)

    • Fever 1793: (Yellow fever)


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Homework Novel

  • Continue work on full lesson plan

  • Begin Reading Running Out of Time

  • Book Activity 9 and 10 with Running Out of Time

    • Activity 9: Double Entry Journal

    • Activity 10: Interdisciplinary Extension Ideas

    • Due November 19

  • Lesson Plans Due before or on November 23

  • We’ll have fun at the end of the semester exploring multicultural and international literature.


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Book Activity 7 Feedback Novel

  • PLOT SUMMARY: In this story, 12-year old Hollis Woods is a foster child. The problem is she has trouble feelings like she belongs in any family and is constantly running away from her foster homes. So first, Hollis is placed with Josie, where she finally feels that she’s in a home where she is needed and wants to stay a while. But, Josie is showing signs of Alzheimer’s and the two of them fear that the agency is going to take Hollis out of her house. Hollis & Josie both run away to the Regan’s vacant summer home, but they slowly realize this cannot be a permanent solution. The problem gets solved when Beatrice agrees to care for Josie and Hollis is allowed to visit once a month. In the end, Hollis returns to the Regan’s and finally has the family she has always wanted. The author’s message is about the importance of family and how everyone has the fundamental need to feel they belong.


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Book Activity 7 Feedback Novel

  • Character Development: Use selected descriptive adjectives (and a good example) to capture the essence of Hollis’ changing character from the beginning > to the middle > to the end

  • Goals for Understanding: Be specific to help guide your discussion

  • Potentially Complicated Issues: Provide questions AND answers – this will help guide your wording of the queries to stay focused!

  • Pre-Reading: Engage your students (rather than just tell them)

  • Queries: Dig deep; build thinking and foster discussion/elaboration; move beyond “good”, “happy”, and “mad” to get at the underlying causes of these emotions, as well as Hollis’ hopes, fears, and “issues”

  • Post Reading: If your queries were effective, an engaging prompt should inspire your students to tell YOU what they learned about the big ideas.


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