How to Teach Summarization with Twitter

We're back at it with Twitter! I really can't get enough of this fabulous tool in my classes. While planning for English classes, I realized I can translate my Twitter strategy from this post to my English lessons. Here's how I'm going to test the critical thinking skills of my students with Twitter. 

Practicing Summaries

This one is probably the easiest way to utilize Twitter in English classes. It's a simple exercise that engages students and helps them flex their writing skills. Here's how to do it: 

  1. Tell your class they'll be using Twitter today. Wait for applause to die down before moving onto step two. 
  2. Pass out this worksheet we created just for teachers like you.
  3. Discuss the summary of whatever piece you might be reviewing. It could be a poem, a short story or a full novel. We think you could even zoom in on chapters for this exercise.
  4. Explain to your students that they will be tweeting the summary of the story. They should try to be descriptive and creative with the 140 characters they have. We've even included a few extra versions of this exercise in the worksheet! You'll have to download it to see them.
  5. When they finish the assignment, discuss different students' answers as well as the struggle they faced when condensing a story into one tweet. 

While obviously you could count the characters of each tweet on these worksheets, I just tell students to keep their text count under 140. You can be as strict or lenient as you like with this rule, but just know counting each and every students' tweet would become a nightmare. 

Not too crazy, right? We'd love to hear how this worked in your classroom. Tell us all about it on Facebook. 

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