Summarizing and Synthesizing Presenter: Jeanette Barreiro March, 2014
Summarizing vs. Synthesizing • Summarizing • When we summarize information, we pull out the most important info and put it in our own words to remember it. • Synthesizing • When we synthesize, we manipulate the “puzzle” pieces until we see a pattern emerge. Sometimes this reinforces what we know; sometimes it merges existing knowledge with a new perspective or a new line of thinking.
Background knowledge and Synthesizing • Sometimes the goal of reading is to sift and pare down meaning to get the “gist” of the story/information. Other times, we should be pulling details together to draw conclusions, consider implications, or take action on what is being read. • Synthesize=Summarization + background knowledge (inner voice) + merging thinking • Connect the new information to the old, ask questions, pick out the most important info. This allows us to synthesize information to actually use it.
Strategy Lessons for Summarizing and Synthesizing • Most of the strategies you have learned to use have asked students to summarize in one way or another. • The focus of these strategies is more on synthesizing—being able to use the information in new ways. • Resources: • Strategies that Work • Summarization in Any Subject (Rick Wormeli) • 51 Wacky We-Search Reports (Barry Lane) • http://writingfix.com/WAC/WackyWeSearch.htm
Double Entry Journal • Read “School of Skate” • As you read, take notes on the left of the column labeled “What is it about?” Then fill in the column labeled “What this makes me think about…” • After you are finished reading—pair and share with a partner.
Backwards summaries • Read this paragraph: • Piggy banks, just like the one you save money in, have existed for a long time. During the Middle Ages, people in England used clay dishes, pots, and bowls. Clay was economical because it cost less than metal. One type of orange-colored clay was called “pygg.” Many household items were made from inexpensive and practical pygg. • Make a “web” from which this paragraph came.
Analogies and Metaphors • Students can let you know what they know if they can tell you in an analogy or metaphor. • Examples: • How is the structure of an atom like the structure of a storm? • How is the government of America like the skeletal system of the body?
Songs and Poems • Synthesizing information gleaned from texts into songsand poems is a great way to know if the students understand the information. • Song or rap—Especially common songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle” or “Little Bunny Foo-Foo” • Video • Poem
Recipes • Exploding Universe Cupcakesby Wittikin, sixth graderIngredients: • 1 cup sugar (stars) • 2 cups baking soda (space dust) • 1 cup pudding (dark matter) • 6-10 marshmallows (galaxies) • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar (empty space) • 2 cups water (gravity) • Instructions: • Mix 1/2 cup of stars with space dust, 1/2 cup of dark matter, and the galaxies. Add 1 cup of your gravity and mix thoroughly. Put in oven for thirty minutes on high heat. While it's cooking, mix the other cup of gravity with empty space, remaining stars and remaining cup of drak matter. Stir well. Drizzle this mixture on the baked universe. Back away about ten feet and watch the explosion.
One Word Summaries • Brevity is important with summaries. • This actually turns into a longer writing piece! • Could make a good group activity to get kids to argue for their word!!! • Sequence: • Read text. • Choose one word that summarizes the text or lesson. • Explain why that is the best word. You must use valid reasons!
Explore some more!!! • http://writingfix.com/WAC/WackyWeSearch.htm#barrylane