August 28th, 2014 - Summary Writing


8:00 - Introductions/backgrounds
Twitter: @jeremybballer

8:10 - Overview - (Questions we want to be able to answer by the end of this morning's sessions and we will revisit)
  • Why are summaries important? (Group)
  • Where do our students summarize? (Pair-share)
  • How can we help our students to write better summaries?
  • How can we incorporate technology?

8:20 - Writing into the Day: Hans Rosling on TED
- Discuss your experiences with informational text/writing within your classroom.

8:30 - Share out with group

8:35 - Curriculum Connections (Explain what Fulton Schools are working on.)
  • Narrative
  • Informational - CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • Argumentative

8:45 - Get it Done! Writing and Analyzing Informational Texts to Make Things Happen by Jeff Wilhelm
  • Why are summaries important?
    • "Summary is a basic cognitive skill and a general process of reading and composing, meaning that all successful readers and composers necessarily bring forward the gist of a text every time they successfully" (Wilhelm, Baker, and Dube 2001;Wilhelm 2012).
    • "Summary is also an integral part of navigating our everyday lives in this age of information glut" (Fredricksen, Smith, Wilhelm).

8:55 - Where do our students have the opportunity to summarize? (Pair-share for 2 min.)
  • text
  • tweets
  • lunch time
  • How was their day?
  • Directions
  • Facebook
  • Other peoples business
  • Tattle-tale
  • Sports
  • Stories
  • hashtags
  • Investigations when they get into trouble

9:05 - Simple lists -vs- Significant lists - Becoming a Detective.
crime scene.jpg

9:20 - Writing Summaries
  • Summary paragraph coding for (TDPP):
    • - Introduce: cite the Topic
    • - Describe: key Details that support the topic
    • - Explain: Pattern of the details
    • - Draw conclusion: Point made about the topic by the patterned details
  • TDPP Examples
  • Sentence frames/starters
  • Transitions
  • What are you looking for in your content area when it comes to assessment? Comprehension is what we all should be looking for with summaries,but what else?

Authentic Text Activity using Newsela

9:45 - Break (Back 9:55)

9:55 - Finish Authentic Text Activity - Share out.

10:10 - Summary application/Summaries Aren't Just Paragraphs

Implementing Technology

10:30 - Your Turn
  • Think about how you will use summary in your classroom
  • Besides using the TDPP process, develop a lesson using one of the strategies and perhaps even implement some form of technology.
  • You can develop a lesson as an individual, department, or even do something cross-curricular.

11:15 - Share Out Ideas and Lessons

11:25 - Have a great year!


Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. (2010). Available:

Create, compose, connect! Reading, writing, and learning with digital tools. (2014). Jeremy Hyler and Troy Hicks. New York: Routledge. Resources available:

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D., Michael W. Smith, and James E. Fredricksen. Get It Done!: Writing and Analyzing Informational Texts to Make Things Happen. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2012. Print.