Thursday, July 7, 2011

Somebody Wanted...But...So...Then

I forget where I heard it, but someone once told me that any book or story can be summarized with the following phrase:

(Somebody) wanted __________, but __________ so ____________; then ___________.

Let's try it:

Cinderella wanted to go to the ball, but she didn't have a dress so her fairy godmother made her a dress and then she went to the ball.

(Click for a rebus story)

Little Red Hen wanted to get help making bread, but dog, cat, and duck didn't want to help, so she made it alone then she ate it all herself.

So the grammar fanatic in me says these are run-on sentences, but it makes summarizing very easy for younger children!

Here's our anchor chart:

Download my graphic organizer or check these out:


  1. This completely and totally works! My team and I have used this way teaching 3rd graders for the past 4 years. We also use 3-2-1. Start with 3 sentences that have the who, the problem, and solution. Then combine it for 2 sentences and then 1 sentence. The someone-wanted-but-so is definitely the easier way though!

    Classic Crafter

  2. Thank you sooooo much for explaining this! I saw this on a couple other people's blogs but they never gave examples or any explanation of what it was. Now that I understand, I can totally use this in the fall. You are awesome. :)

    Magnificent Multiagers!