All teachers engage in teaching summarizing from grade school to college. It is often hard for students to grasp the idea of condensing information so that they have the main idea written in their own words while retaining the message of the original author. How to teach summarizing is something that many teachers ponder when they find that students are having difficulty grasping the concept. TeachingSummarizing.com provides helpful advice and tips about teaching summarizing skills that everyone can put to good use.
Getting started with teaching summarizing
In order to start to teach summarizing you should start with a small paragraph from an informational text. Post the text so that all students can see it and read it together. Then ask the students to give you the main idea of the paragraph. This involves selecting the topic sentence of the paragraph. Write this idea and then ask for the supporting details. Write these down and then start formulating a summary that condenses the ideas into a compact paragraph. Ask the students to compare the length of both texts to show that the summary is much shorter.
Other tips for teaching summarizing
When teaching summarizing elementary school teachers should expect to have to repeat this lesson over and over and often give students individual help with writing a summary. Other tips to help you make teaching summarizing skills easier include:
- Have the students underline key words and phrases in a text
- Let students start off writing long summaries and then write successively shorter pieces for the same text
- Teaching summarizing involves using the style of writing a newspaper article – who, what, when, where and why
- Use newspaper stories without headlines and have students read the articles to write their own summary headlines
Teaching summarizing skills is one of the most difficult parts of teaching writing that teachers and students encounter. It is best to start off slow and not overwhelm students with the process. Start off small and gradually work into larger pieces of text. This is an important thing to remember when teaching summarizing. Elementary students also need plenty of practice time with this skill. They can’t grasp everything at the same time, so you might have to focus attention on establishing the main idea for a few lessons first.
For more tips about teaching summarizing come to TeachingSummarizing.com