The attached sensational summaries guideline sheet, summary graphic organizer, and getting the gist graphic organizer should be included in each individual Revolutionary War novel packet.

The sensational summaries guidelines sheet is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. Prior to the lesson determine what novels or individuals will be using which guideline sheet.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

Students will determine the main ideas of a text.

Students will apply metacognition to the text.

Students will effectively create summaries of a text based on their ability level.


1. Sensational Summary Guideline sheet for each student in their packet

2. 12 Getting the Gists graphic organizers in each student packet

3. 12 Summary graphic organizers in each student packet

4. Revolutionary War novel for each student


Guidelines for differentiation of the summary graphic organizers:

  • Low: Fighting Ground (Students will create a 2 sentence summary for each time period in the novel.)
  • Average: Can be used with any novel (Students will write a 3 sentence summary for every 2 pages they read for the day.)
  • High-Average: Can be used with any novel (Students will write a 5 sentence summary for each chapter in the novel.)
  • High: Can be used with any novel (Students will write a 5-8 sentence summary for each day's reading, regardless of the amount of chapters.)
1. Begin by asking students why it is important to get the gist of what they are reading? Discuss.

2. Have students locate a Getting the Gist graphic organizer in their packet. Remind them this is the same graphic organizer they used while reading, Brothers in Hope. Tell them that while they are reading their Revolutionary War novel, they will essentially be trying to get the gist of what they are reading.

3. This is entirely up to the teacher, but it is important to give students a guideline of how many gists and their thinking they are going to be required to write down. A good number is to have them write down the gist and their thinking every 2 or so pages of the novel. If they go without writing a gist for too many pages, they begin to jumble ideas. You may also want to have students who are having difficulty with summaries, write a gist for every page. It is entirely up to the teacher's discretion.

4. Go over the gist requirements with the students. They may want to use a ruler to place a line under each gist they write, so their work does not get sloppy.

5. After going over the gist requirements, ask students:

How can finding the gists of your reading help you to create an effective summany?

Students should respond by adding something about recording all of the big events and details in their gist graphic organizer will help them to sort through the key ideas to include in their summary. The gists will also allow them to record their ideas as they go instead of relying solely on what they remember after they have finished their reading.

6. Instruct students to find their Sensational Summaries Guideline sheet in their packet. Go over the directions for each day's reading. Remember all students or novel groups have different guidelines. Remind students that you created work that best suit's their needs.

7. At the bottom of the guidelines sheet is an effective summary sample section. Have students write the effective summary you created together from the story, Brothers in Hope. This will give them a guideline as to what you are looking for. Remind them that for some of them this is longer or shorter than what their guidelines say, but this gives them an idea of what ideas are most crucial.

8. Remind students they will create a gist sheet and summary sheet for each day's reading. They can refer to their calendar in the packet for what reading they need to complete each day.


Monitor student's summaries each day to determine if they are recorded the key ideas.

Monitor student's gists and their thinking to determine if they are comprehending the text.

Answer Key or Rubric:

Rubric is on the front page of the packet.

Benchmark or Standards:

The Standards for the English Language Arts:

Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.

Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the word; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillmen

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