Name of Strategy:  Somebody Wanted But So


Purpose:  This reading strategy helps students write a well-developed summary of the story.  Students need to focus on the various story elements (characters, plot, conflict, and resolution) to be able to write this summary.  Multiple characters offer readers an  opportunity to understand different points of view.


Description of Strategy (Putting the Strategy to Work)

1.  Introduce the strategy with a poem/short story.

2.  Teach students how to use this graphic organizer by modeling how you create a       “Somebody Wanted But So” statement. 

3.  Read the poem/story aloud.  Discuss with the students:

·        which somebody to consider (main characters of the story),

·        what that somebody wanted (plot),

·        what occurred that caused a problem (conflict),

·        and what eventually happened (resolution).

4.  Make sure that the students understand that when they are finished, they should have written one sentence that offers a summary of the text.

5.  Remind students to chunk the story into parts if the text is too long.  Connect the statement with words like then, later, and, or but.  Therefore, this summary will be longer.

6.  Use the responses to also teach students about point of view as they change the character in the “Somebody” column.

7.  SWBS is a scaffold for narrative text.

8.  An example:  (Steig, W.  (1982).  Doctor De Soto.  NY:  Scholastic Inc.)






Doctor De Soto









The De Sotos

to fix teeth of animals who would not harm him


to be pain free





to take the risk to help the fox.

the fox begged him to help him with his toothache


Dr. De Soto didn’t want to help




was afraid of him when the fox returned the next morning

he bravely decided to help the fox.



the fox said, “I beg you, do something!  My tooth is killing me.”


they made a glue that would keep his mouth closed for a day or two.  This way he would not be able to harm the DeSotos.


Resource:  Beers, K.  (2003).  When Kids Can’t Read What Teachers Can Do.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.