Thursday, March 3, 2016

Teaching Summary with Google Slides and "SWBST"| #30DBB - Day 4

This is day 4 of "The 30 Day Blog Binge." Learn more

In the Texas ELAR state standards, there's a vein of higher level comprehension skills running through the grade levels that's lovingly referred to as Figure 19. The purpose of Figure 19 is to make sure that students have the tools to be able to comprehend literary (poetry, drama, fiction, etc.) and informational text (culture and history, expository, persuasive, etc.).

19E is the strand of Figure 19 that focuses on students being able to retell and summarize the major events of a text in a logical order. In high school, students are expected to be able to apply their understandings of Figure 19E in order to monitor their comprehension.

Here's the progression:
  1. Kindergarten - retell or act out important evens in stories
  2. 1st/2nd grade - retell or act out important events in stories in logical order
  3. 3rd/4th grade - summarize information in text, maintaining meaning and logical order
  4. 5th grade - summarize and paraphrase texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order within a text and across texts
  5. 6th-8th grade - summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order within a text and across texts
  6. 9th-12th grade - reflect on understanding to monitor comprehension (e.g., asking questions, summarizing and synthesizing, making connections, creating sensory images) (Fig. 19A)

Google Slides and "SWBST"

Google Slides provides the perfect way for students to practice and visualize summarization, using a strategy called "Somebody-Wanted-But-So-Then" (sometimes there's a "Finally" tacked on to the end of it.) Students use the SWBST structure to identify the main character, conflict and resolution of a story, sequence them correctly, and then use the structure to write a summary paragraph. SWBST works with everything from fairy tales to Pixar movies to full novels. It's an incredibly powerful framework for identifying the core elements of a story.

A Slides template pushed out through Google Classroom provides students the SWBST framework to work with. By assigning the template in Classroom and setting it to "Every students gets a copy," students can find images using Google Slides handy Research tool and complete the sentence stems on each slide to create their summary.

Check out the "Little Red Riding Hood" example below, then make a copy of the template to use with your students. Happy summarizing!



  1. Teachers can easily find the summary and also find the slides for their help. The mean of this thing is the best and may be this information is show them some more ways to learn and after that we are able to solve students problems.

  2. I read these progressions and I really try this and would like to ask people to try this practically for positive results.Thank you so much for sharing this post.

  3. Its really effective for teachers and being a teacher on I also learnt some basic lessons which I was personally unaware of.Keep sharing more good stuff.Thanks.

  4. Teachers wake up and just read this post.It is for you and yes indeed so many quality tips are shared here which are hard to find on as I am regular member of this site.Thank you very much for sharing this post.

  5. Teachers will learn unique ideas through this site that how to teach the students? Teaching summary will improve the comprehension skills in teachers. We have for students.

  6. Teaching kindergarten students is a big responsibility that is only possible if we look here and to create summary. Google classroom is doing good job so this is also a best method.