Synthesizing is when readers change their thinking as they read. They are working to put together all of the strategies you have taught them to form thoughts, opinions and conclusions. Synthesizing can be difficult to teach because it involves so many pieces. We have put together a collection of organizers to make the process easier for you.
As you teach about the synthesizing process, we think it is important to immerse your students in many good examples. Do this by reading aloud and modeling your own thinking for the students. Give students the opportunity to practice with partners and small groups using post-it notes. The more the students see good examples, the easier the process will become.
A good introduction to synthesizing for children to see can be following a recipe to make a snack or treat. You might make cookies or a snack mix. As your class works together to follow the recipe, talk about how all of the pieces are combining to make something new. Compare this to the reading process. Share that in reading you combine the characters, setting and other parts to make the whole story, just like when you follow a recipe.
Summary Graphic Organizer Summary Page Students often confuse writing a summary with synthesizing. Help them see the difference by first writing a summary of their reading. Use the planner and our summary writing page. Then, go back and have them practice synthesizing by thinking and responding to what has happened in the story.
Synthesizing Organizer This is a basic organizer with room for your students to record how their thinking has changed while reading a book.
Think, Pair & Share Your Synthesizing Sometimes talking through the process with others can make the idea of synthesizing easier to understand. Begin with a read aloud and have students complete each step of this organizer.
Organizing My Thinking This graphic organizer helps students pull together the pieces of the synthesizing process.
Books we like for modeling synthesizing:
You might also like our FQR (Fact, Question, Response) activities: http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/2013/02/28/fqr-fact-question-response/.