Summarize synthesize for Second Graders

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  • Please take some time to think about these two sets of questions and begin to formulate your own answers.
    Now find some people near you and share your two lists: what you know about summarizing and how to summarize.
  • After students have read one of the suggested texts mentioned on the previous slide, some type of modeling and follow-up activity is needed. Teachers need to model key elements related to summarizing by use of the overhead or chart paper. The following are critical components to students’ understanding of the overall process of summarizing text: 1) pulling out main ideas, 2) focusing on key details, 3) using key words and phrases, 4) breaking down the larger ideas, 5) writing only enough to convey the gist, and 6) taking succinct but complete notes.
    Answering the basic questions – Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? is a strategy to assist students in developing the concepts above.
    Of particular importance in summary is, “Who did what?” Pointing out that students should pay attention to introductions and last paragraphs of a text, first and last sentences of paragraphs, and bold-faced words may help in summarizing.


  • 1. What does summarizing mean?
  • 2. Why is it important to be able to summarize what you have read?
  • 3. Let’s listen to a story about a very famous small person. Tom Thumb
  • 4. Summarizing is like being a news reporter! Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?
  • 5. Summarizing is like being a news reporter! Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?