Category Archives: Summarizing

Outlining non-fiction

We have been working on summarizing and determining importance this week. Yesterday I showed them how to make an outline to take notes. I explained to them that this will help them in history and science and generally anything that may be difficult to read and understand. We have been practicing these skills with our story this week-“Ancient Greece” in the Scott Foresman Reading Street series. It is a non-fiction story that is PACKED with facts and information! 🙂

Determining importance is HARD for them to grasp. They understand what it means, but it’s hard for them to pick out the important things in some paragraphs and sections. I don’t think I worked on this with them this year like I should have-so I will definitely focus on this next year! 🙂

When we were working on the outline I had them work in several different ways:

1. I read some paragraphs out loud and we figured it out together

2. I had them work in groups

3. I had them work with a partner

4. I had them read silently and then we pulled out the important stuff together

We broke this story down CHUNK-BY-CHUNK-BY-CHUNK!!! 🙂

We will see if it helped them any when they take the  open book test tomorrow that I am going to create tonight! 🙂 (Nothing like procrastinating)


Summarizing Strategies

Here are more strategies to use when summarizing.

Summary Anchor Chart

I found this picture of an anchor chart that SIMPLY explains what a summary is!


OK-This is stumping me! I’m not sure how to teach summarizing-or actually, I think I can teach it, but I’m not sure how long a summary should or should not be! 🙂 I understand that when we read a paragraph we can summarize it in 1 sentence, but what about a complete article or story? How long should that summary be? If you know the answer to that question-PLEASE TELL ME!!!!!!!

Anyway, I am wanting to have an anchor chart to hang up in my classroom so the kids will have a visual to help them. I know that I am going to use my “Main Idea Hand” to help them, but I want to also give them some more guidelines. I am going to start compiling some information on summarizing to help me with this. Here is a good link with a simple explanation of how to help them write a summary. I’ll post more later as I find it.