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In summary
Advanced Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will use some of the skills they have learned while practicing reading to help them write summaries. This reading-to-writing lesson will included some useful terms for framing summaries (this article is about, in short, etc.) and some terms for linking language (transitions such as in addition, furthermore, on the other hand).


Main Aims

  • To help students translate reading skills to the writing skill of writing summaries.

Subsidiary Aims

  • Lexis for framing summaries and for joining sentences inside them.


Warm-up (1-4 minutes) • To spur discussion on uses for summaries to give the lesson a "real-world" feel.

In pairs, sts, discuss possible uses for summaries in the professional world. Emails- complaint letters, etc., inform a boss about the general nature of a problem, Useful in business writing, research, or to summarize events, activities or people's resumes. Perhaps start out with discussion of busy bosses. Solicit feedback.

Skim and scanning (4-12 minutes) • To help students cull the information they will need for summaries.

Begin with a quick skim. Ask what the article is generally about: Celebrity Worship Syndrome. And what is it? An obsession with someone in the public eye. How would you write that in a sentence? This article is about Celebrity Worship Syndrome, an obsession with someone in the public eye. This is the topic sentence. OK, now read again and try to answer these questions: Is CWS getting worse? How many people have it? What is believed to be the cause?

Jigsaw game (12-18 minutes) • To allow sts to check their own answers on the previous task. This stage will also expose sts to target language and help them begin to see how summaries are constructed.

Pass out jigsaw game to be completed in pairs; check answers. Important: See how students' answers to scanning task matched the slips in jigsaw.

Lexis - frames for building summaries (18-28 minutes) • GD to identify useful phrases for building summaries.

Using an inverted pyramid, guide students through phrases: This article is about . . . According to the article . . . It may be caused by . . . In short . . . Use Socratic method to place the terms on the inverted pyramid. Guided discovery can include some of the following CQs: This article is about: Are they talking about the whole article, or just part of it? The whole article. According to the article: Is this fact or an opinion? Opinion. So does it go before or after “this article is about.” After. It may be caused by: Have we already discussed the problem? Yes. Have we talked about how big a problem it is? Yes. So where do causes come: before how big it is or after? After. Why? Do we care about a problem and its causes if it is not a big problem? No. In short: Will this be long or short? Short, of course. What does it do? It sums up the story. So can it come at the beginning, before we know about the problem, ar at the end, to summarize it? At the end.

Writing Freer Practice (28-38 minutes) • Students will try to construct summaries more independently.

Offer students choice of two articles. As them to answer the same questions as they read: Is the problem getting worse? How many people have it? What are the causes? Then ask them to use some of the same frames from the previous lesson in writing their own sentences.

Self-check jigsaw (38-42 minutes) • To let students check for themselves how they did on their summaries using jigsaw similar to the first.

Pass out jigsaws, very quickly review results.

Lexis II - Useful transitions for summaries (43-45 minutes) • To help students learn to link ideas in summaries using transitions

GD through transitions: For example: I hope they know this one In addition: What is addition? Math? Are we taking something away or adding something? Adding. Furthermore: It is like “farther” Again, are we adding something or subtracting? Adding. Are we changing the subject of keeping it the same? Keeping it the same. On the other hand: OK, now are we keeping the same subject or changing it? Changing it. A little different or a lot? A lot. Use little train drawing to show how these terms move a summary along and link the parts together.

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