As children build their comprehension skills, one important strategy to add to their toolbox is summarizing. This strategy can be used in the whole group setting, while working with small groups, or individually (both in the classroom and at home). When students learn to summarize, they are learning how to pull out the most important details of a text while ignoring what is irrelevant. Summarizing also assists students in grasping the main idea of what they have read by connecting it to the key details.
Use these simple summarizing steps in the classroom or at home:
*After reading the selected text ask the children/child to state the main idea of what they have read.
*Have the children/child point out the most important details that support the main idea.
*Ask the children/child to point out what information is unnecessary or unimportant.
*Have the children/child find key words that helped them identify what the main idea of the text was.
Here are some great resources that can be used when practicing summarizing:
Sum It Up
Sum It Up Directions
Main Idea and Details Lunch Bag
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Lesson Plan
Summarizing Strategies List