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Grades 6-8
6, 7, 8

Photon Education

Determine the Details - Summary by Photon

Duration time:
60 min.
Programming interface:
Photon DrawPhoton BlocksPhoton Code
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Reference to the core curriculum

Common Core English Standards: 
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Class goal:

  • To determine the theme or central message of a text.
  • To explain how the theme or central idea develops over the course of the text.
  • To provide an objective summary of the text.

Type of exercise:

  • Group work.

Required items:

  • 1 Photon Robot per group along with the device to code it.
  • Model text.
  • Student texts.

Lesson scenario:

Programming Interface: Photon Draw / Photon Blocks / Photon Code / Scratch 3.0 / MakeCode / Python.



  • The teacher will pre-teach theme concepts. 
  • The teacher will choose texts appropriate to grade level and genre (fiction or nonfiction). 
  • The teacher will choose a familiar and accessible model text for the entire group.
  • The teacher will pre-teach how to provide a summary of a text.


Lesson Sequence: 

  • Students work with the teacher to learn about theme and summary with a model text.
  • Break students into groups.
  • Each group member should read the text independently and write down the theme and key information for the summary.
  • The groups should come together with one Photon robot and device for coding per group.
  • Each group should program Photon to summarize the story.                                                  
    This should include programming Photon to:
    • Explain the setting.
    • Introduce key characters.
    • Demonstrate the plot of the story.
    • Provide a summary of the text.
    • Point out the theme of the story.
  • Bring the class back together.  Have each group run their program to share with the class.  Give the group a chance to share why they chose the elements in their program.  
  • The teacher should offer suggestions for any needed adjustments to their program.
  • Continue until all groups have shared their program.

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