See more. When we synthesize, we pull together the most important points from our reading, but we move beyond what’s stated by the author. When we do research on nonfiction topics, we summarize to capture what we want to remember from each source or portion of a source we use. Whew! When we want to recommend a book to a friend, we summarize to explain what the book is about (without giving away the ending). Reading comprehension strategies, like synthesizing, are an important part of students' development as readers. Great for Reading Levels H-M . 5 Fantastic Strategies to Encourage Synthesizing . Look at the character in multiple parts of the text. Notice if there is a pattern. In any genres, syntheses are strongest when they are supported with textual evidence. In fiction we consider the basic story elements – main characters, setting, plot and sometimes theme in a summary. You may already know that I’m hard at work behind the scenes creating a LINKtivity Reading Strategy Series that covers the 7 main reading comprehension strategies. Through synthesizing, readers form new ideas and opinions. Synthesizing means learning from what you read and adding new ideas to what you already know. A summary may lead to a synthesis, but it’s not where it stops. What is the strategy of synthesizing? We have seen examples of children synthesizing throughout this Reading Comprehension module, even though they had not yet been formally introduced to the strategy: • When first graders found answers to their questions about animals by combining information from more than one paragraph or page of text, they were synthesizing – taking ideas from different places and putting them together for their own purposes. A synthesis draws on … It’s important that we teach our students to synthesize. In informational text, synthesis is often the culmination of research or inquiry. Strategy Steps. Second grade teacher Apryl Whitman began teaching her students to synthesize their thinking in fiction by reading fables with them. To move from fables to longer stories with less obvious messages, Ms. Whitman chose Eve Bunting’s beautiful picture book, Butterfly House, appropriate to the class’ ongoing science unit about the life cycle of a butterfly. 1. It might be because this reading comprehension strategy is a mash-up of summarizing, making connections, and making predictions. Fables are great when you are just starting since they are short and have a lesson to be learned that isn’t revealed until the end. After reading, we summarize for various authentic purposes. We want our students to do more than parrot back what they’ve read. In nonfiction, a reader’s synthesis is often the understanding that we develop when we study a topic through multiple books, articles, and multi-media resources. Students assemble their pictures in the graphic organizer and share their summaries orally (or in writing). We not only synthesize within a text, but across texts, especially when we are doing research or inquiry. I created this reading strategy bookmark that you can provide your students with as they learn to use this new comprehension strategy. Introduction To Summarizing And Synthesizing We put together everything that we’ve learned about that topic into a complete synthesis. Each new thought expands from the previous thought. … Why do we teach children to synthesize? They know the importance of their own thinking. Then, that ripple creates a new, larger ripple. Summarizing and synthesizing are two important reading comprehension strategies. A synthesis can form: a new understanding, something a reader has not considered before until reading the text, a deeper understanding, becoming more aware or appreciative of an idea after reading a text, a changed understanding, thinking differently as a result of the text. These reading strategies include: Although the LINKtivities are available for purchase separately, you can also grab them as part of the Bundle, where you can grab all 7 at a discounted price. It might be because this reading comprehension strategy is a mash-up of summarizing, making connections, and making predictions. PLC Facilitators: Click here for Facilitator Notes. In fictional texts, readers synthesize to form a new, deepened or changed understanding about the character and events in the book. Click HERE to view digital versions of Aesop’s Fables to display for your students. Look at the character in multiple parts of the text. As you read multiple texts, model both summaries AND syntheses of the same book to help students see the different. 0:00: Owl: Welcome to Synthesizing What You Read, an instructional video on reading comprehension brought to you by the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab. Create an anchor chart using the ripple visual. Each ripple grows from the previous ripple, increasing in size, but they all stem from the original drop of the pebble. Debbie Miller says synthesizing is “the process through which readers bring together their background knowledge and their evolving understanding of the book to create a complete and original understanding of the text.” (Reading with Meaning, p. 171). Different examples will “click” for different students. Because this was the first time students had synthesized with more complex text than fables, the teacher chose to have children write and draw about their final thinking about the story for independent practice. A synthesis can INCLUDE parts of a summary, or a retelling from the text, but it goes far beyond that summary or retelling. Each part teaches you something. Like the ripples, our understanding becomes greater. Note that synthesizing is not the same as summarizing. Simply stated, we go into a text as a caterpillar and come out of it as a butterfly. In fiction, Debbie Miller recommends teaching children that synthesis is like the ripples made by throwing a stone in a pond. 0:19: Synthesis … In fact, the prefix “syn” means together.  S ynthesizing a text is the process of pulling together background knowledge It turns out that synthesizing … Jigsaw pages of the text (by groups or individual children), with each group or child deciding what’s important in their part of the text. Click on any image below to read and learn about another reading comprehension strategy. But when you put the parts together, they will tell you something new. Proficient readers summarize both during and after reading. When teaching any new skill in reading, I love to give my students a kid-friendly bookmark with some helpful tips for using a new skill or strategy.

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