It’s never too early to summarize! Check out Father Bear Goes Fishing.
This 98 word book tells the story of Father Bear catching fish for the family supper. Unlike many other Fountas and Pinnell Level D books, there is a clear beginning, middle, and end. At first Father Bear can’t find any fish. Then as they jump downstream to him, the view shifts to the hearth where Mother Bear with her wristwatch and Baby Bear in his bib anxiously await dinner. At the end, Father Bear returns home triumphantly with a bucket full of fish.
The book is a “natural language text.” This is to say that it uses a limited vocabulary, but not so limited that the strategies of using picture and context clues are ineffective. With the repetition of many sight words such as where, down, said, went, look, and here, the dialogue still manages to flow. The pictures of the bears, each with their trademark human accessory, are amusing to kids.
Other levels of the Rigby PM Collection feature this same bear family. They appear again in two books in the Yellow Platinum Edition (6-8, Levels D and E), three books in the Blue Levels (9-11, F and G), and in two in the Green Levels (12-14, G and H.) All of the books in this series lend themselves to summarizing in three sections:Beginning, Middle, End. At the higher levels listed above, they can be summarized in five sections: In the beginning, But, So, Then, At the End. At the start of the year, we write these summaries interactively, following the language experience method of teaching beginning readers. These short synopses which use the children’s own words become additional texts kids can practice reading. Later in the year, the children write the summaries on their own.