How to Summarize What You Read
Summarizing is a useful skill for students. It teaches them how to identify the most important ideas in a text, how to ignore irrelevant and insignificant information, and how to pick up the central ideas in a useful way. Teaching how to summarize can also improve the memory for what the kids read, and this skill can be used in almost every subject area.
Here are some reasons why you should teach students to summarize:
It helps them discern important ideas and compile important details that support them.
It enables them to handle a large chunk of text and condense it to just the main points for better understanding.
It allows them to focus on keywords and phrases of a particular text that are noteworthy and important to remember.
How to summarize:
1) Start with having the student read the text or listen to the audio version of the text.
2) Guide the student to answer the following framework questions:
What are the main concepts? What are the essential details necessary for supporting the ideas? Which information is unnecessary or irrelevant?
3) Ask them to use phrases or keywords to identify the main points from the text.
Make sure to include the beginning, the middle, and the
end of the story.
Underline key words and phrases. Answer the questions. On a
separate sheet of paper, write a brief summary of the text.
First, take notes of the major points in
the order that they happen. Then, write a summary of the story in the
Read the assigned text. Then use the graphic organizer
below to get together the information that you need to summarize it.
Draw and describe the major events of a typical day for you in the order that they happen.
Choose a scene from the story. Draw a picture of
what’s going on in the scene. On the lines, summarize what’s going
Every afternoon, Jenna took a walk around her neighborhood. One
day while she was walking, she saw something up ahead of her in the
road. I wonder that is? she thought to herself.
We look at five main parts.
A summary is a concise statement that includes the main
points of something. You write a summary in the present
tense. A summary should contain a topic sentence that is followed
Write a sentence or two about each MAIN IDEA.
Read the passage. Write a brief summary below.
Read the passage. Identify the main idea and major facts.
Write a three to four sentence summary on the lines.
Who, what, when is the chapter about? What are their
thoughts and feelings?
Read the assigned text. Answer the five questions about the text. Then use your
answers to the questions to write a brief summary of what you read on the back of this page.
When trying to decide what to include in your summary, answer the
questions below for each main part of the story.