Strategy: Narrative Summary and Pixar Shorts

Using Video to Teach Narrative Summary

Narrative Summary and Pixar Shorts

Today's quick strategy focuses on using Pixar Shorts to teach the Narrative Summary Strategy Somebody Wanted But So Then. Somebody Wanted But So Then is a widely taught strategy for teaching summary while reading fiction. While the materials for SWBST are vast, I often find the easiest way to teach this memorable technique is through the use of quick shorts or Pixar shorts that are available on YouTube. I use the gradual release of responsibility model that focuses no I Do, We Do, You Do. This technique is best applied as a scaffolding technique to reach a higher level goal. 

I want my General Ed students to be able to start to identify plot elements and work to finish a narrative summary for a particular written story. I use this Gradual Release model with video and picture books to reach my students who are struggling readers and writers to grasp the concept first and then apply concepts to other pieces of media and text. 

Quick Lesson Plan

The lesson plan for today on the first day of teaching Narrative Summary looked like this:

1). Warm-Up (Today was Mindset Monday)

2.) Term Vocabulary: Narrative, Summary, SWBST

  • Somebody (Main Character)

  • Wanted (Goal)

  • But (Conflict)

  • So (Resolution/Choice)

  • Then (Moral/Theme)

3.) Apply with the first clip: I DO (THEY COPY). 

4.) Apply with second clip: (WE DO. I START NOTES, THEY FINISH WITH A PARTNER)

5.) Apply with third clip: (YOU DO. They do notes and the summary). 

Here are some of my favorite Pixar Clips to try this out with:


Writing Mindset Reflection: What narrative summary techniques do you use? How do you introduce narrative summary at each stage of student learning?