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Getting into Fiction

As students move from first, second, and on to third, summary of fiction becomes extremely important.  Sometimes summaries become a "retell" of the story, which is not the same thing.  Kids need to be confident in what makes a good summary. State tests require that students can summarize and eventually pick summaries out of several choices of answers.  Summaries basically consist of the name(s) of the character(s), the problem in the story, and the solution.  It's shorter than a retell.  It is important that they can recount the events of a story, but writing a summary does not include all of the details.  I have created a unit that will help you teach this and other concepts.  There are symbols the students can familiarize themselves with in order to make deeper connections to these parts of the story by using them to become more interactive with their reading. While the unit has students think through and write about a favorite fairy tale, use an excellent fiction story to extend through the entire unit.  Some ideas might be The Recess Queen or Ruby the Copycat. Any fiction text you use as a touchstone text would work with this set of activities!

Have you ever asked a student or a small group of first or second graders what the most important part of the story was?  There may be more than one acceptable answer, but the "turning point" of the story will usually fit the description of the most important part.  This section of the unit specifically teaches "turning point."  This important skill is more solidified when a symbol is involved.  They can code their reading and take notes in journals using these symbols.  With practice each time they read fiction, they can learn to identify when the action begins to change into a potential solution.

The final component of the unit deals with teaching students to understand character feelings and how they change.  By comparing how the character feels during different parts of the story, students notice how feelings may change throughout the story.  There is a foldable at the end of the feelings section of this product that enables students to combine their summary and character feelings skills.  

Click here to see Primary Fiction Analysis in my TPT store!

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