What is a Summary? A summary is



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What is a Summary?


  • A summary is a short retelling of a story, nonfiction text, media, or an event.

  • You summarize every time you tell friends about your vacation or a movie you saw.

  • You can't tell everything, so you tell what's most important: the main idea and a few details.

  • The length of your summary depends on the length of the text you are summarizing.

  • For example, if you are asked to summarize a one page article, you may need a one to two paragraph summary of the text.

  • However, if you are asked to summarize an entire novel, you will most likely need more paragraphs because you are condensing a larger piece of text.


What goes into a great summary?


  • State the main ideas of the article or text.

  • Identify the most important details that support the main ideas.

  • Write your summary in your own words, except for quotations.

  • Express the underlying meaning of the article, not just the superficial details.


Summary Rubric
When writing a summary and grading one, you need to make sure the author has included these key elements:


  • Has a main idea/concept

  • Includes important facts and details

  • Is in the writer’s own words

  • Direct use of text from selections should have quotation marks

  • Reflects underlying meaning

  • Includes details in logical order



Excellent

Good

Below Average

Ineffective

Clear Main Idea

Clear Main Idea

Main idea is unclear-not specifically stated in the writing.

The main idea is not present.

All important details are included

Important details are included but some might be missing

Some critical information is missing

Contains only some details

Details are in logical order

Ideas are in logical order

Ideas are in random order and not logical

Ideas are not in a logical order

Demonstrates clear understanding of information in the text.

Demonstrates adequate understanding

Demonstrates basic understanding of information in text

Demonstrates little or no understanding

Is characterized by paraphrasing of the main idea and significant details

Is characterized by paraphrasing of the main idea and significant details

Is characterized by the substantial copying of key phrases and minimal paraphrasing

Is characterized by the substantial copying of indiscriminately selected phrases or sentences.


Writing a Summary
Directions: Below in a nonfiction article. Your job is to read the article and answer the corresponding questions. Next, you need to go back into the text and highlight the major parts of the article that you will use in your summery. Once you have highlighted the main ideas and supporting details, it is then time to compose your one paragraph summary.
Water, Water, Everywhere!


(1)

Is a flood ever good news? How can it be? When river water overflows and floods the land, people can lose their homes . . . even their lives! So to people who live in flood-prone areas, a flood is always bad news. But in ancient Egypt, things were different. The people looked forward to a yearly flood and saw it as good news!

(2)

Many Egyptians lived and farmed by the Nile River, which flooded every summer. They eagerly anticipated the event because they knew that when the water receded, the land would be better for crops. That's because floodwaters carry along washed-away soil and sediment, then drop it somewhere else. There, the nutrients in the sediment sink into and nourish the land. Then the farmland is richer and ready for crops.

(3)

The Egyptians weren't sure why the flood came each year. Many believed it was a gift from the spirits, who sent great clouds of rain to fall near the source of the Nile. But actually, that wasn't the case. The annual flood was caused by natural events that began high in the mountains of Ethiopia.

(4)

In June, strong winds from the South Atlantic Ocean blow over the rainforests of Africa. When the winds reach Ethiopia's mountains, some of which are 13,000 feet (4,000 m) high, giant rain clouds drop their contents in huge thunderstorms. The rain continues and mountain streams fill to the brim. Then the streams join together to form a sizeable river. It speeds along to meet the Nile, carrying lots of soil and sediment with it. By July, the rushing water reaches Egypt, where it produces a flood in the Nile.

(5)

The yearly flooding of the Nile wasn't all good news. Sometimes buildings and fences were swept away and property lines disappeared. But landowners just marked off their territories and put up new fences for another year.

(6)

Today, floodwaters from Ethiopia are stopped soon after they reach Egypt. A large dam on the river holds back the rushing, rising water and forms a large lake. This is good news. Now buildings and fences aren't swept away. And today farmers can plant two crops a year instead of just one.

(7)

But the dam is bad news, too. The waters of the yearly flood always kept the fields fertile. Today, farmers use fertilizers that get into the mud and water of the Nile. Fish that once thrived in the Nile are gone. And a serious disease is spread by snails that live in the slow-moving waters of the great river.

(8)

So back to our original question: Is a flood ever good news? As you can see, it can be, if the good benefits outweigh the bad.





1.

Which is the best one-sentence summary for paragraph 2?

a.

A yearly flood in Egypt did a lot of damage.

b.

A yearly flood in Egypt brought sediment that helped the land.

c.

A yearly flood brought more people to Ethiopia.

d.

A yearly flood in Egypt was caused by rain over the Pacific Ocean.

2.

Which is the best summary for paragraph 4?

a.

Winds from the Atlantic drop rain on Egypt at the source of the Nile. The rain floods large cities near the river.

b.

Rain over the Atlantic comes on shore in Egypt and floods the Nile.

c.

Rain in France forms a river that travels to Egypt and dumps into the Nile. Then the Nile floods Egyptian farmland beside the river.

d.

Winds from the Atlantic drop rain on Ethiopia and rain-filled streams form a river. It dumps into the Nile, which floods Egyptian farmland beside the river.

3.

Which would be an important detail to include in a summary of the article?


a.

The Nile River is in Egypt.

b.

People sail boats on the Nile.

c.

The capital of Ethiopia is Addis-Ababa.

d.

The Mississippi River also floods sometimes.

4.

Write a summary of the whole article. Make sure to incorporate the main idea/ideas and major supporting details as well.
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Once you have finished your summary, have your neighbor read it. He or she will use the rubric to score your summary.

Summary Score: ______




What did he or she do well?

What does he or she need to improve?







Name: __________________________________ Period: ____ Date: ____
Writing a Summary


  • During the last class period we discussed the components of a great/excellent summary.

  • You read an article and wrote a summary as well.

  • Now you are going to read an article and write a summary on it.

  • Highlight the main idea and details that you want to include in your summary in the text.

  • You must make sure that the summary has all the needed/necessary components!

  • Use the rubric below to help you gage (predict) your summary’s score based on what you wrote.


Rubric


  • Has a main idea/concept

  • Includes important facts and details

  • Is in the writer’s own words

  • Direct use of text from selections should have quotation marks

  • Reflects underlying meaning

  • Includes details in logical order



Excellent

Good

Below Average

Ineffective

Clear Main Idea

Clear Main Idea

Main idea is unclear-not specifically stated in the writing.

The main idea is not present.

All important details are included

Important details are included but some might be missing

Some critical information is missing

Contains only some details

Details are in logical order

Ideas are in logical order

Ideas are in random order and not logical

Ideas are not in a logical order

Demonstrates clear understanding of information in the text.

Demonstrates adequate understanding

Demonstrates basic understanding of information in text

Demonstrates little or no understanding

Is characterized by paraphrasing of the main idea and significant details

Is characterized by paraphrasing of the main idea and significant details

Is characterized by the substantial copying of key phrases and minimal paraphrasing

Is characterized by the substantial copying of indiscriminately selected phrases or sentences.


Ready for this jelly? Strange sea creatures invade West Coast beaches

By Jason Kravarik, CNN updated 3:23 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014


Oxnard, California (CNN) -- Thousands of strange sea creatures are washing ashore on California beaches, puzzling tourists and thrilling scientists quick to explain the phenomenon.
"The scientific name is Velella velella," said David Bader, director of education at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. "They're jelly-like creatures, but they're not exactly jellyfish."
Also known as "by-the-wind sailors," the creatures have a clear, distinctive fin sticking up from a blue, oval body no larger than the palm of a hand.
"Every now and then, the currents and the winds will change and these guys will, instead of being pushed out to sea, they actually wind up on the beach," Bader told CNN.
They first started showing up in Washington and Oregon, and by mid-July reached San Francisco. On Thursday, photos turned up on Twitter from Hollywood and Silver Strand beaches in Oxnard.
By-the-wind sailors do sting to catch their food, but humans need not worry.
"That sting is not very potent. It's nothing that could actually get through my skin," Bader said while holding an assortment of the creatures.
Velella velella feeds on plankton and fish eggs caught with tentacles that hang down from its jelly-like body. The creatures float on top of the ocean with their fins sticking straight up, leaving them at the mercy of the wind and the current.
"Out at sea, they look like bubbles on the surface of the ocean until you get up on them," said Julie Bursek of NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
They don't live long on the shore, causing their deep blue color to fade until their clear, tougher fins are all that's left behind.
"A lot of people probably never knew an organism like this existed in the world," Bader said. "And you know the winds change, and all of a sudden they wash up on shore and we get to see what the ocean is really made of."
Write your summary below!
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If you had to grade your summary, what would be the score? _________________________

Now, have your partner score it. ______________

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