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Paraphrase lesson plan high school

Mar 26, 2018

Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than they do in planning the marriage. Zig Ziglar

In Summarizing and Synthesizing: What’s the Difference? we discussed the two related reading comprehension strategies. As with any strategy, students need to be introduced to it, observe the strategy in use through think-alouds, and have opportunities for repeated guided practice. The lessons highlighted below help you do just that in your classroom.


Reading Informational Texts Using the 3-2-1 Strategy (Grades K-2)
In this lesson, students in grades K-2 learn to use the 3-2-1 strategy, which involves writing about three things they discovered, two things they found interesting, and one question they still have. After teacher modeling, students read a magazine article independently and use the 3-2-1 strategy to comprehend what they read. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3.

Lesson 8: Summarizing Information (Grades K-5)
In this lesson, students practice summarizing by extracting the Five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and the H (how) from feature stories in local newspapers. The lesson could be adapted for use with other texts as well. Primary teachers could read a news article aloud, perhaps from National Geographic for Kids or another student periodical, and then assist students in identifying the Five Ws. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3.

Choosing One Word: Summarizing Shel Silverstein’s “Sick” (Grades 1-2)
After reading Shel Silverstein’s “Sick” aloud, students summarize the poem and count the words in their summary. They then summarize the poem again, using only one word. Students explain their choices and discuss the various words offered as a summary. Although this lesson plan uses the poem “Sick” as an example, the activity can be done with a text of any length or genre: poetry, picture books, short stories, plays, and novels. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12.

Guided Comprehension: Summarizing Using the QuIP Strategy (Grades 3-6)
This lesson plan, for grades 3-6 from ReadWriteThink, teaches students to summarize information by graphically organizing information in response to questions, then reorganizing their answers into paragraph form. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 11.


Synthesizing Lesson Plans (Grades K-5)
While not full lessons, these four activities can help students learn how to synthesize while reading. The activities meet the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3.

Germs and the Body (Grades 3-5)
Written as a science lesson, this learning experience provides opportunity for students to practice synthesizing as they read science-themed informational text. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12.

This article was written by Jessica Fries-Gaither. Jessica is an education resource specialist at The Ohio State University and project director of Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle and Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears. She has taught in elementary and middle school settings. Email Jessica at [email protected]

Copyright February 2012 – The Ohio State University. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1034922. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons license.

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From Theory to Practice


This lesson helps students understand copyright, fair use, and plagiarism by focusing on why students should avoid plagiarism and exploring strategies that respect copyright and fair use. The lesson includes three parts, each framed by a KWL chart. In the first part, focusing on plagiarism, students discuss plagiarism and look at examples to determine whether the passages are plagiarized. Part two introduces copyright and fair use. Students use a Think-Pair-Share strategy to explore questions about fair use, then read several scenarios and determine if the uses described are fair use. In the third part, students develop paraphrasing skills through direct practice with paraphrasing text book passages using an online notetaking tool.

This lesson plan was developed as part of a collaborative professional project with the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

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Students need multiple opportunities to practice citing sources and paraphrasing, to see examples of writing that properly uses paraphrasing and citations, and to reinforce these concepts. When students are taught information about these concepts early in their academic careers they are more likely to find success when the demands for research increase with the sophistication of their work. As their work becomes more sophisticated, students must have an understanding of fair use practices concerning copyright. Giving credit for a source is essential, but there are times when just a citation is not enough. Depending upon what part and how much of the text a writer uses, he or she may need to seek permission to use the material. By discussing and practicing paraphrasing and working through some fair use examples in this lesson, students should gain a better understanding of these concepts.

Further Reading

NCTE Executive Committee, November 2008. Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. Online:

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The problem of pupils plagiarizing papers plagues professors pervasively. While students express comprehension, their product is often transgression.

In this plagiarism prevention lesson, we use a passage from Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" (Geisel, 1960) to illustrate plagiarism and paraphrasing in an effort to convey how best to avoid gross and subtle violations, including how and why minor manipulation of sentence structure is not adequate paraphrasing.

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