Strategic Reading and Writing: Summarizing Antislavery Biographies

Summarization is an essential comprehension skill to determine the importance of information when reading. In this lesson, students practice writing effective summaries using biographies. Students read selections from Enemies of Slavery by David Adler. They read about a specific person and then join a group of students who read about other people to learn about additional biographies. Afterwards, students use the Bio-Cube tool to record information about their assigned person and then display these cubes in an Enemies of Slavery mobile. Students research biographies, summarize findings, and record gathered information.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7
Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
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...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further...
GLE 0401.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to a variety of audiences.
GLE 0401.3.2
Write in a variety of modes and genres (e.g., narration, description, personal expression, imaginative writing, response to literature, response to subject...
GLE 0401.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
GLE 0401.4.2
Collect, organize, and determine the reliability of researched information.
GLE 0401.4.3
Present research results in a written report.
GLE 0501.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to different audiences.
GLE 0501.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
GLE 0501.4.2
Collect, organize, determine reliability, and use information researched.
GLE 0501.4.3
Present the research results in a written report, citing the resources used.
GLE 0601.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
GLE 0701.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0701.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
GLE 0701.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0701.4.4
Write a research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
SPI 0401.1.13
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0401.3.8
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0401.8.2
Identify characters, setting, and plot in a passage.
SPI 0501.1.15
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0501.3.10
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0501.6.3
Locate information using available text features (e.g., maps, charts, graphics).
SPI 0701.1.20
Recognize and use grade appropriate and/or content specific vocabulary within context.
SPI 0701.3.8
Select an appropriate concluding sentence for a well-developed paragraph.
SPI 0701.4.1
Select the most focused research topic.
SPI 0701.4.3
Determine the most appropriate research source for a given research topic.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.KID.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
TSS.ELA.4.RL.KID.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text, such as a character's thoughts, words, or...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes, categorize information, and provide...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 4 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.4.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences; promote writing fluency.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, such as descriptive details and clear event sequences.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.IKI.7
Locate an answer to a question or solve a problem, drawing on information from multiple print or digital sources.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.IKI.7
Explain how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or mood of a text, such as in a graphic novel, multimedia presentation, or...
TSS.ELA.5.W.RBPK.7
Conduct short research projects that use multiple sources to build knowledge through investigations of different aspects of a topic.
TSS.ELA.5.W.RBPK.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes...
TSS.ELA.5.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 5 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.5.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences; promote writing fluency.
TSS.ELA.5.W.TTP.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
TSS.ELA.5.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
TSS.ELA.7.W.RBPK.7
Conduct research to answer a question, drawing on multiple sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
TSS.ELA.7.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
TSS.ELA.7.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Student Objectives:

Students will

  • Identify why summarizing is an important skill for comprehension through whole-class and small-group discussions
  • Identify characteristics of an effective summary by analyzing a summarizing graphic organizer and discussing its attributes
  • Improve their reading comprehension by constructing summaries of researched information on an assigned antislavery activist
  • Analyze what they have learned by participating in jigsaw groups, in which they present their summaries and record information gathered by their peers
  • Apply summarization skills by displaying their research using the Bio-Cube tool
  • Apply metacognitive strategies by reflecting about how summarizing helps readers make meaning

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding
Extension suggestions: 

Extensions:

  • The Bio-Cube can be used as the basis for a written summary. Students can transfer each side of the cube into paragraph form.
  • Teach another content area lesson using the Bio-Cube tool, such as “Great American Inventors: Using Nonfiction to Learn About Technology Inventions.”

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Enemies of Slavery by David Adler (Holiday House, 2004)
  • Any book from the Civil War Booklist (optional)
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Chart paper
  • Color markers or highlighters
  • Heavy paper or card stock (optional)
  • Overhead projector (optional)

References

Contributors: