What is Summarizing Text and Why is it Important Plus 3 Tips

As students study different types of text, they will also learn to summarize the text. This is different from recalling the events of the story. Summarizing text is an important skill to have so that students can fully understand the materials they are reading. The purpose of summarizing text is to build on their comprehension skills. So how can we help students with summarizing text? I’ll show you. Keep reading to learn some simple tips for summarizing text and why it’s so important.

Summarizing text in upper elementary

What is Summarizing Text?

In upper elementary school (and lower grades as well), it’s important to learn how to summarize text while students are studying it. This concept boils down to taking the text apart and identifying the important parts of it. Essentially, it’s identifying the details of the text and describing them in your own words. You often see these details written out on graphic organizers.

Some examples include supporting details, the main ideas, and any important topics or themes. Other pieces of summarizing text include key vocabulary, interesting facts, and questions the text may pose.

Why is this so important? Students are required to use their comprehension abilities to interpret the text in front of them. They have to be able to organize the information they read into sub-groups or categories. Keep in mind that this is different than retelling! That’s just telling what happened, this is digging deeper into the meaning and analyzing the information.

How to Teach Summarization of Text to Upper Elementary Students

Here are three simple tips to help students understand summarizing text in the classroom.

Use Read Alouds through Picture Books

Picture books read aloud to students are a great way to model summarizing text. As you read a story to your students, take the time to stop and wonder and make observations. They will see how the thought process works as they pick out key details and main ideas. After seeing you model it with read-alouds, they will be able to more confidently apply it to texts they read independently.

Make Anchor Charts for Everything

As teachers, we know how helpful anchor charts can be in the classroom. They are simple tools that students can help create, and they build on their understanding. Some teachers use anchor charts that are pre-made, but you can use anchor charts that the students help you make. These interactive anchor charts will remind them of important things to keep in mind while reading and summarizing text.

Show Students Videos with Your Lessons

Visual aids don’t have to only come in the form of anchor charts and picture books. They can also come in the form of videos. Short little clips are great tools to help students understand a concept. Use a video like this one to show students how summarizing text works. The Three Little Pigs is a great example of a story to use when teaching summarization.

Tools to Help Students with Summarizing Text

If you love having tools on hand to help students with their skills, these graphic organizers will help! Use them to organize vocabulary words, main ideas, key details, and more as students read different pieces of text. Using organizers of some kind will help your students see the text broken into smaller chunks. It will also help them realize the significance of the text beyond the words.

Using fun tools like these when summarizing text will only further your student’s learning as they study different types of text. Encourage them to break the words down and to find the importance of every piece each time they read. The more they practice, the more confident they will become in their reading abilities!

I hope you enjoyed reading and thank you so much for stopping by!

For more fun teaching ideas for your classroom, check out these posts!

Summarizing text and its importance.

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