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Teacher Guide to Student Interactive

Summary: In this interactive, students meet Jelly Bones Jones, a loquacious pirate captain whose long-winded stories they have to summarize. In the first task, Jelly Bones explains five pirate skills, and students must summarize to create a handbook on how to be a pirate. They first choose the main idea and supporting details for each skill, and then use those notes to write a summary in their own words. The second task involves drawing a map to summarize Jelly Bones' rambling explanation of where the treasure is buried. In the third task, students summarize the story of Jelly Bones' last days to create a tale which will help the pirate's memory live forever.

Tips for using the student site in your classroom or lab: Download Tips
Download the screen-by-screen preview: Download Preview

Before you start:

  • Remind students to read and listen carefully to the instructions starting on the first screen of the activity. (This really helps!)
  • Review the process of finding the main idea and supporting details in a non-fiction text. Students will need to find main idea and details in this activity.
  • Review the concept of using your own words when summarizing. The texts in the activity are written in "pirate language," to induce students to use their own words to summarize.
  • Remind students to click Save before the end of the period. This is a long activity and will usually take more than one class period.
  • Tell students what you would like them to do when they finish the activity.
    • Print or e-mail their summaries, print their pirate map.
    • Listen to the Summarizing song.
    • Raise your hand and check in with me.

After you finish:

  • Review students' summaries. Use the copies for informal assessment and student portfolios, or discuss them with students during one-on-one conference time.
  • In small groups, ask students to compare and discuss their Pirate Handbooks or Shipwreck Story summaries.
    • Why is your summary different than someone else's?
    • Why did you think ___________ was important?
    • Is there anything you could leave out of your summary?
  • Think of other ways students can summarize information from text using visual means, such as drawings, charts, graphs, collages, etc.
  • Continue to work with students to help them to summarize what they read.

A production of Wisconsin Media Labs: