SGD: Artistic Summary

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When we think of summaries, they are often a collection of words. The truth is, we can summarize with art and speech. Let's explore how that can work.

1- Select a Text


  1. Read available selections.

  2. Select ONE selection below (there are three for you to choose from)

  3. Create an artistic interpretation, along with an oral presentation, to the class

Selection #1: Poetry
William Carlos Williams' (28w)

Selection #2: NonFiction
Why Do We Sneeze? (221w)

Selection #3: Flash Fiction
T. J. Cohen's Einstein (197 w)

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

You asked us, why do we sneeze?

Well, when something irritates our nose, a split-second autopilot reflex kicks in causing us to...achoo!

Anyways, it's basically our bodies' way of getting rid of schnoz invaders. The result is that air along with droplets of water and mucus get forcefully puffed out of our mouth and nose.

I'm talking up to 100 mile an hour kind of speed here.

That's quicker than most professional pitcher's fastball. And, hundreds of thousands of microbes might be hitching a ride on that snot train.

So sneezing, is basically is a great way to spread germs. For some people, wires in their brain get crossed, and they end up sneezing at weird moments, like when they pluck their eyebrows or walk into the sun. But, no matter how bad the timing, if you start to sneeze, let her rip because holding on to one has the potential to do some damage including rupturing your eardrums. And yes, it's possible to sneeze with your eyes open, but no, your eyeballs are not going to pop out.

It's a no too that the myth of sneezing stops your heart. Speaking of something not stopping, in 978 days Donna Griffiths holds the record for the longest run of continuous sneezing. You can only hope she bought stock in tissues.

"So, today's your birthday?"
"Yes,. March 14th, a day that will live 'in family.'" [He
laughs.] "That's cute. Did you make that up?"

"Heavens, no! My grandfather kicked the slats out of his cradle the first time he heard it."
"But you did say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right?"

"Oh my... never said that either. I think Rita Mae Brown might claim credit for that, but in any event, that's not the definition of insanity. What you're dealing with there is a psychosis so debilitating that a person can't distinguish fantasy from reality."

"Well, what about this quote: 'Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.'? That sounds like something you might have said."

"Nope, wasn't me," he said, picking up his violin and tuning the instrument.

"Well then, are you familiar with this one: 'I refuse to believe that God plays dice with the universe.'?"

"Close, but no cigar. What I actually wrote my friend Cornelius Lanczos at Princeton in 1942 was: 'It seems hard to sneak a look at God's cards. But that He plays dice... is something I cannot believe for a single moment.'"

"So, what can we believe you said?"
"Just this: 'Don't believe every quote you read on the Internet, because I totally didn't say that.'"

2- Explore Digital Tools

Select a digital tool from the list below. Create your "artistic impression." Your goal is to artistically and orally summarize a piece of literature.

Go back and read the piece you chose as a group. Consider the questions shown right as you go through the piece a second time.

Click the image representing each drawing tool to access it. Be sure to save your work to save with others.

  • What words from the piece jump out at you to help make an artistic representation?

  • What was the focus of the reading selection?

  • Think of all the parts in the piece. Put them together as if you were going to tell another person.

  • What details are most significant? Least?

  • How could you use key ideas to condense the information in the text?

  • What is important and essential to the text?

  • Share some important ideas that struck you.

You’ve probably heard the latest brain research focused on cementing learning that says that drawing something can help a person better remember it. This works, no matter the age of the student or the content. The benefits of drawing do not rely on the students’ level of artistic talent. This suggests the strategy may work for all students, not just ones who are able to draw well. Learn More

3- Record Your Oral Summary


  • Use to record a short oral summary.

  • Copy the link to your oral summary at

  • Paste it into the slide deck in the next step

Once you have the link, go to Step 4

4- Share Your Creation with Audio

You will need to share your creation via this Google Slide deck. Follow these instructions:

  • Find an empty slide no one is working on and add your team name

  • Add your group name and photo

  • Add a screenshot or picture of what you made/drew

  • Add your hyperlink to recording

Learn More

The Art of Microfiction

Stories told in 300 words or less