Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stained Glass Summaries

(I just saw that I never posted this, and meant to back in the fall!  This project was one of my FAVORITES from the year!  I loved how they turned out, and got lots of compliments on them from other teachers.  They were amazing! But, I'm too lazy to rotate the pictures right now...)

We just finished reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen in our Shared Reading.  It's one book that I remember reading and loving in elementary school, and I can officially say that it still holds true today.  Everyone in my class loved it.  I do recommend getting the audio book version and listening to it with the kids.  There are subtle sound effects that add to the story and the narrator is sooooo good to listen to.  It was so amazing to look out across the classroom and see every single student following along and turning the pages at the exact same time.

I gave my students read aloud logs (see previous post) that asked them to respond to one question or statement about the book each day.  I would then take 4 or 5 responses and add them to a Smart Notebook file.  It sparked some interesting discussions about how Brian changed throughout the story, predictions, questions, and observations.
I recorded their response exactly as they shared them!

After finishing the book and taking some time to reflect on the story, I gave my students a Story Summary Flow Chart.  It had 6 boxes with arrows pointing to the next box.  As a class, we decided that the first box should be that the pilot has a heart attack while flying the plane, and the last box should be that Brian turns on the emergency transmitter and is rescued.  Then, we made a list of events that happened in the story and decided if it was a major event or a minor event.  Students then chose what went into the remaining 4 boxes.  In each box, they had to draw a picture of what happened during that event.  Then, they had to take the events and write a summary of the story.

Today, I had to do some testing on kids, so I came up with an idea to extend their summaries and to include practice on quoting from the text.  I call it, "Stained Glass Summaries."  I had my kids take a blank piece of water color paper and draw 2 lines in the middle.  They could be slanted or straight, whatever they liked.  


  1. VERY COOL!! Sometimes we need to extend their thinking and extend our time to do something that HAS to be done. :)


  2. Hi! I just found your blog and your TpT store! I am actually teaching in Pittsburg, KS! Small world. :)

    Fun In 5th

  3. Wow!!! I absolutely LOVE this!! Thank you for the awesome idea!!

  4. Love it! We are reading Hatchet this year and I will def. be doing this!