Simply Summarizing

Summarizing can be tough for some students and teachers, but what happens when we make it simple for them? Using a simple way to summarize helps students with find those important parts of text and take off with the perfect summary in minutes!



I love working with the teachers in our school, and this year has been extra fun for me.  One of our new-to-the-school teachers has moved from 6th grade to 3rd grade.  I remember when I moved from 4th to 3rd grade.  It was a challenge, so I can't imagine what she is going through!  Anyway, we have become good friends, and she takes everything I say and runs with it.

When she said she would be working with writing summaries with her third graders, I knew they would need an extra push.  Last year in 2nd grade, many of them did a retell once a week.  This retell told every part of the story, but that is NOT what a summary is.

Simply put, a summary is just the main points of the story ~ not a lot of details.

I had a plan!  

We use Thinking Maps at our school, so I used the Flow Map as a template for writing a summary.  Our anchor chart looks like this.
I love using "Somebody Wanted But So Then" to help my students with writing a summary for fiction. It is so simple and easy to use.

Then the students chose a book to read. Before reading, I told them their task would be to write a summary of the book.  Here is the process of writing the summary.

I love how two student read the same book but changed their "somebody".  It makes the summary a little different but still has the same idea in it.

Summarizing was so simple for these students, and now they have a tool to help them as they write summaries!

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