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Middle school and above

  • Summarize

  • Identify main ideas

  • Identify important detail information

  • Writing

  • This strategy should be introduced initially through modeling and guided instruction, gradually allowing the students to become independently responsible for each step.

  • Draw 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

      •  Ex: 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 summary:

    • 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.

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