We are reading The Phantom Tollbooth in class, and the kids are loving it! I try to bring it to life and have differnet voices for all of the different characters. If you haven't read this book, it's very challenging for students becuase it has TONS of different characters and the language is very literal. So, we spend a lot of time discussing, answering questions, and practicing our SUMMARZING skills.
Before we read a new chapter, we take some time together to summarize the previous one. I love doing this becuase it helps us remember what we read before, and it's a strong model for the students of what a fiction summary should look like. Since we had done five summaries together, it was now time for the students to try it on thier own! (well kind of!)
My studnets this year love nothing more than a little bit of competition! Today, they were given the task of summarizing the previous chapter, but with a twist. They were put in partners (randomly), given twenty minutes to write a summary, then had to compete against another group to see which summary was the best. (The students voted on the winner of each round.) After the winners were voted on in the first "heat" the four winners went on to compete against each other in the second "heat" and then the two finalists competed agaisnt each other to get our winner.
This is something that seems so simple, but the students loved it! They loved the idea of sharing thier summaries with the class, they loved the competition, and they loved that there was a winner! I love implementing little things in the classroom that spice up our regular day to day routine!