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Mice, Beans and a Summary

Context for this Lesson


TOPIC: Summary 

GRADE LEVEL: 3rd Grade/4th Grade


  • How do we maintain meaning and logical order in summarizing and paraphrasing texts?



§110.14. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 3

  • (8) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Fiction. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:
    • (A) sequence and summarize the plot's main events and explain their influence on future events;

Common Core State Standards

Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 4 

Key Ideas and Details

  • (2) Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • (7) Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.


  • Rosa Maria glasses
  • Pictures from the story
  • Summary paper for each student

Everybody Do

Students will gather in a circle. Teacher will explain that we will be doing some role work so we must warm up our bodies by thinking of things we may do at a birthday party. With the teacher starting first, take turns saying “Everybody do…(and then state an event done at a birthday party such as hitting a pinata).”

Transition: Now that we’ve warmed up our bodies by acting out things we may do at a birthday party, I’m hoping you can all use your comprehension and drama skills to help us with something else.


Pantomime Together

"Last week, we all read the story Mice and Beans together and we have been learning about summaries. Today, I have a special friend that’s coming in and she needs your help to remember the events in the story and create a summary. Let’s think of some events that occurred in Mice and Beans." Discuss various activities that occurred in the story, Mice and Beans. As students name an activity that occurred, pantomime the activity together. Continue pantomiming until students and teachers have discussed all activities from the story.

Transition: Now that we’ve warmed up by recalling the details in our story, I’m hoping you can use your comprehension skills to help us with something else.

Teacher-in-Role/Mantle of the Expert

"When I put this costume piece on, I am going to become Rosa Maria. Before I do, let’s recall some respectful tips for when our guest arrives." Teacher puts on costume piece to signal that she is becoming Rosa Maria.

Rosa Maria introduces herself to the class, and tells the students that, after planning the last party, her neighbors have asked if she could plan their upcoming party, in 2 weeks! Since she is so forgetful, she will need the students to help her sequence the steps to planning a great birthday party. She knows they have heard her story so it will be no problem for them to help her. "Do you think you could help me put these pictures in order and write me a short summary to refer back to?

Rosa Maria reveals some pictures taken from her neighbor as she was preparing for the party. "OH my! My neighbor gave me these pictures from the party and I don’t even remember which I did first. I really need help remembering the steps I took to plan for the party, please help me put them in order." As students are sequencing the steps, Rosa Maria will ask them to tell her what they see in each picture and how they know where it should go in the sequence.

When complete, Rosa Maria will ask students to help write her a summary of her story from the beginning, middle, and end. She will use this summary and the pictures to always remember the process to planning a party.

Transition: (as Rosa Maria) "Oh my goodness! Thank you all so much for your help. Now I will be able to take this back with me to help me remember my story and when planning another party." Teacher takes off Rosa Maria costume piece, and students move to desks to write their summaries.


Describe: What do you remember from what we did today?

Analyze: How did we use our summarizing skills today? How does pantomiming help us remember events from the story?

Reflect: Why is it important to make sure we understand a story? How does this help us in school and everyday life?