Name of Strategy: Summarizing Read Actively


  • Rationale:
• Summarizing is a difficult skill for anyone. I spend a good portion of first and second quarter directly teaching different summarizing strategies. Throughout the rest of the year I want my students to continue practicing those strategies. A summarizing read actively is an activity I can give to my students to get them to practice summarizing and to allow me to try to see how they are thinking about what they are reading.

  • Courses in which it could be implemented:
• This is primarily an activity I do in reading. However, the different passages I use come from Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.

  • Diverse learners:
• A summarizing read actively is a tool I can use to assess how students are doing with the strategy. I use it to determine which students need more instruction on summarizing. I then pull those students to the green table to do small group instruction. The instruction is done with texts that are at their reading level, making this differentiated instruction.

  • Procedure:
• During independent reading time (not to be confused with sustained silent reading), students will be given a short passage (usually only a paragraph or two long), to read. They then decide which summarizing strategy to use (if not already told which to use on the paper). Students summarize the passage using the strategy they have chosen. They then explain why they chose this particular strategy to summarize this particular passage.

  • Potential Issues:
• Summarizing is a difficult skill, however, the read actively is a really good assessment for me to use to help me decide what I need to go over and with whom. This tool allows me to decide if I need to spend more time on the strategy with the whole class through shared reading instruction or in small groups through small group shared reading instruction, or if I need to focus on it more during guided reading sessions.

  • References
Gretchen Courtney and Associates—workshops and professional development seminars in 2008.

*Teacher Binder Resources