Yellow Summary

In the TPRS classroom, we want our students to be reading and reading. Giving them tasks that make students re-read a story gives them a focus without realizing they are reading


the story again.

One such technique is what I am calling  “Yellow Summary”. In this task, students highlight the most important events of the story. When they are finished, what they have highlighted should represent a decent summary of the story.

As students are re-reading, they have to decide what events are important to the story and what are just extra details.

In the first line of this reading from AlmaHabía una chica que caminaba sola por la calle en una ciudad muy fria.” we talk about whether we need to know if there was a girl (Yes) and if we need to know that the city was very cold (No).

As students are re-reading and highlighting, I play the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” and sing along changing it to “We are making a yellow summary, a yellow summary, a yellow summary.” You have find a spanish version on youtube but “Amarillo el submarino es, amarillo es, amarillo es” doesn’t have the summary pun that I enjoy.

An extension to this activity is that you can have students take what they have highlighted and rewrite it as a summary. Some students may have highlighted only phrases in sentences so they then have to write those in a full sentence. As they are reading what to write and writing it, they are getting extra reps, and I am one who believes that handwriting something out does something extra to aide in acquisition.

You can then have students read their summaries to their classmates. More reading and more listening! Input everywhere!alma-summary

Read about our other TPRS strategies, such as Buzz Reading and Verb Shout.

About SpanishPlans

Spanish Educator, with focus on acquisition Educator Enthusiast I love learning about and sharing culture.
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2 Responses to Yellow Summary

  1. I love this idea! So I am sort of new to the TPRS, I have been writing stories (mostly expository writings up until now) using a similar model of repetition and it has been very helpful in building understanding. Our conversations are much more fun-filled and expansive. I created a story for my Spanish 1 students to read (La clase de confesiones) and although it was interesting and compelling- love interests and a bit of espionage, I found that when we read as a class, some could not relocate the vital information. I was actually thinking of what could I do to help to focus in on the main part of the story. I was thinking of underlining words in the text and have them say it when I came across the word, but I like this idea better. Do you have them highlight when you read as a class or when they read alone? Do you ever have the recap to story to a friend? I have found this very helpful as well. Do you write the stories or do you get them online? I am just curious. Although I have a few stories we do in class, I wanted to create library of text, they do not have to be bound for students to read when we do FVR.

    • spanishplans says:

      Thanks for commenting. I did it for the first time this week. We had told the story in class as part of a movietalk, so they were already familiar with the story. I had them read the story and then they had to rewrite some statements on the back of the worksheet that had false information and then translate those sentences.
      Then the next day, to get them to read the story again, I had them highlight the story as they re-read it individually. This time I had them copy what they highlighted into their notebook. And then they read what they had wrote to their partner. I probably wouldn’t have them write it everytime (some students will get lazy and not highlight what they think is essential because they won’t want to write as much).
      But with their highlighted summary, they could also do a volleyball partner translation (Highlighter reads in Spanish and partner translates to English).
      Most of these stories, I have written myself. You can check them out in our MovieTalk or TPRS Story Bundles:
      I also have used a few others that I’ve found or bought such as from Kara Jacob’s blog and
      I’ve also been printing extra copies to put into a binder to include as an option during FVR.

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