Headline News Summary

Summarization is a key concept that many students struggle with – regardless of grade level. This summarization strategy works with both upper elementary through junior high. 
 

 

What is it?
The Headline News Summary is an adaptation of “Somebody Wanted But So” summary.  It is a graphic organizer that helps students summarize information by chunking different pieces of information. Elementary students in primary grades may use the SWBS (Somebody/Wanted/But/So) version of the strategy.
 
How Does It Work?

 students acquire information.  Their reading or use of other media should be directed at acquiring information that helps them master a unit understanding. The strategy works best when the content can be expressed as a narrative.


Students summarize using the graphic organizer.  They compose brief sentences that “tell the story” of the narrative.  The organizer helps them compress the main ideas of a long narrative into a few sentences.
Debriefing.  Use the organizer as an exit slip to be graded, have students check their work with others, or take samples from the class for discussion in a large group format.

 
Why use it?
Summarization is a “high yield” strategy because it forces students to interact with information rather than simply copying it.  The Headline News Summary is perfect strategy for social studies because it can help students sift through information to find the “big ideas”.
 
An Example:
 
The Unit Understanding (what the teacher wants students to learn):
Africa’s colonial past fostered a legacy of ethnic conflict and other problems.
 
Assignment:  Use the notes you took from the reading on the problems created by imperialism in Africa to create a brief summary using the Headline News Summary graphic organizer.  Check your work with your partner then turn it in as an exit slip.  We’ll staple them in your notebooks tomorrow.
 

 

Student Sample:
Somebody…
The people
somewhere…
in Africa
wanted…
wanted to be free to live in tribal groups within traditional boundaries
but…
but the powerful nations of Europe came and exploited them as colonies
so they…
were forced to fight for their freedom
then…
they began to fight each other because of the problems caused by imperialism
and so…
today they still struggle with problems of ethnic violence and other economic and social issues.
SUMMARY: The people in Africa wanted to be free to live in tribal groups within traditional boundaries but the powerful nations of Europe came and exploited them as colonies. So they were forced to fight for their freedom and then they began to fight each other because of the problems caused by imperialism. So, today they still struggle with problems of ethnic violence and other economic and social issues.
Other examples include:

 

 

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