Summarizing Comprehension Strategy

The Snow Wombat

The Snow Wombat by Susannah Chambers is a lovely short, rhyming text that tells of wombat's big journey through the snow in the Australian Alps.

The Alps are the only bioregion on the Australian mainland in which deep snow falls annually and this text presents a lovely way of opening our students' curiosity to the animals, birds and people of this special area.

The story is essentially a tribute to the awareness that there is 'no place like home'.

The beautiful illustrations by Mark Jackson include a variety of Australian animals, plants and trees that can survive the freezing temperatures.  Although bitterly cold, the illustrations depict a vibrant, happy and delightful place. Perhaps it is those big bright blue skies, or wombat's cheeky playfulness, perfectly captured.

The Snow Wombat

The book includes a map drawn on the end pages. This map connects visually with the animals that wombat passes along his journey. There is a link from story, animal, map and names of places. It is subtle but a deep connection which presents you with the opportunity to introduce the comprehension strategy of summarizing to your students.

To summarize 

A text summary, or short retelling, helps children make personal meaning with a story.

Not just a straightforward retelling, a summary includes only the important main ideas and show how they are connected.

After the read, use the map on the inside cover as a visual summary of the text. Talk about wombat's journey.

Ask your students:

  • Who or what is this about? 
  • What happened in the story? 
  • When, where and how did the action happen? 
  • Where are the main ideas in the text? 
  • What was the most memorable part of the text? Why? 
A good story summary structure is the somebody-wanted-but-so-then idea. Use these key words to draw out the main ideas and develop a summary.

Summarizing Reading Comprehension Strategy

It could be:

Wombat wanted to sleep but it was too cold and snowy at The Stockman's Hut so he walked home past many animals and then he was warm, safe and happy. 

Ask students to draw or write their own using this worksheet. This worksheet can be used for any wombat or animal themed story.

We would love to provide this poster and worksheet to you, and have made it in two versions depending on how you spell summarizing. Find them both here:

Summarizing Reading Comprehension Strategy

If you would like a copy of the gorgeous book, please consider using our Amazon Affiliate link: The Snow Wombat

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