Appropriate Grade Level: 4th to 12th Grade
Purpose: Improve understanding of expository materials by summarizing the main ideas.

The summarization strategy helps students recall the main ideas and specific facts of materials they read. There are five rules for writing summaries. (described below)

Rules for writing summaries:
  1. Delete irrelevant or trivial information.
  2. Delete redundant information.
  3. Select topic sentences.
  4. Make a list of actions.
  5. Invent topic sentences when none are provided by the author.

Steps for teaching the strategy:
  1. Use sets of short paragraphs.
  2. Each set should highlight one rule.
  3. Explain the rules and have the students practice individually with your materials.
  4. Present a checklist that the students can use to judge the quality of their summary.
  5. You can also use the same checklist to monitor their progress and give them corrective feedback.

Evaluation of Effectiveness:
Compare the students' scores on comprehension questions or skill sheets or reading tests before and after implementation of this intervention.

Bos, C.S. & Vaughn, S. (2002). Strategies for teaching students with learning and behavior problems. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Checklist Summary