Teaching Tip#3: Tips on how to teach your students to summarize

Summarizing is putting in your own words a shortened version of the written or spoken material, stating the main points and leaving out everything that is not essential. Summarizing is more than retelling – it means analyzing information, distinguishing important from unimportant elements and translating large chunks of information into a few short cohesive sentences.

It helps students because it

  • allows both students and teachers to monitor comprehension of material.
  • helps students understand the organization structure of lessons or texts.

For non-fiction, show students the following steps by using a model:

  • Skim the text to get a general idea of the topic.
  • Delete unnecessary or redundant material.
  • Find the main ideas in the text.
  • Find or create a topic sentence.
  • Identify key words and phrases.
  • Substitute specific terms with general terms when appropriate (for example, transport instead of carsbusesauto rickshaw)

For fiction or description, introduce a graphic organizer and ask them to fill in the information, e.g., the one here to fill in the basics of the story.

Contributor: Sonali Bhattacharyya



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