Middle school and above
- Identify main ideas
- Identify important detail information
This strategy should be introduced and used initially through modeling and guided instruction, gradually allowing the students to become independently responsible for each step.
- Make four columns on the board or chart
paper. Label each column:
- What are you summarizing?
- What information in the beginning is important?
- What information in the middle is important?
- What information at the end is important?
- Teacher and students fill in each column with
information from the text.
- Help students identify main topics and ideas.
- Work with the students on deleting unimportant details and repetitive information.
- Assist students in labeling or categorizing lists of items (e.g., using spring flowers as a category instead of listing tulips, daffodils, violets, crocus).
- Write 1 – 3 sentences to summarize the information in the columns.
- Students respond to the following questions about the
- Is any important information left out?
- Is the information in the right order?
- Have I selected information that the author or teacher thinks is most important?
- When students are summarizing independently, have them write some of their good models of summarization on the board for class discussion.