This past few weeks we have been working on summarizing non-fiction text. Looking at the various traits of non-fiction and figuring out how they all work together to get the point of the text across has been very tricky for the kids. So to help them figure out what the most important information in a non-fiction text is, I employed the help of a bit of creative expression and technology.
Our current project in Computer Lab (which I am very much aware of how amazingly lucky we are to have a lab at all) is using the program called Comic Life. This is a program where the kids create a comic strip all on the computer. It is a cute program that I thought would tie in perfectly with our summarizing non-fiction text study.
Comics, in and of themselves, are short visual ways to get across a huge message. That is basically what a summary does. It takes a lot of information and condenses it down to only the things that are absolutely necessary to get the point across. Perfect match!
So here is how the project goes:
The Boston Tea Party (Graphic History)
. (click the title and it will take you to the book on Amazon) This book is GREAT! I really gets the point of the Boston Tea Party across, keeps the interest of the students, and helps them to understand the action with the dialogue and pictures. We compared the non-fiction text to the graphic novel to see how the graphic novel really summarized the history text. It was great to see how the important parts were pulled out and portrayed graphically.
I have to say, these were fantastic. The kids really got into it and REALLY understood the summarizing aspect of the whole thing.
Now, if you don't have Comic Life, or access to enough computers to make this worthwhile...have the kids color the template and you have an awesome board. But if you do have access to the technology...read on.
Then, after the pictures were input onto the computer, they put the
caption boxes and speech bubbles and, viola, a comic was born. To complete the entire process took about two weeks.
can't tell you how much I love these. I just kept reading them and
looking them over. They not only look awesome, but they really do have a
lot of academic rigor to them. This was a fun way to work on
Have you ever used Comic Life? What did you use it for? Any tricks to share with us?
What about summarizing?? Any fun projects to share?