Writing a Summary or Précis

Get the GIST: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area
In this series of lessons, students read newspaper articles obtained from newspaper websites. Students then identify journalism's "who, what, when, where, why, and how" and complete a template with the corresponding information they have found in the article. Finally, students use their notes to write a 20-word summary called a GIST. Once students have mastered writing a GIST using newspaper articles, the strategy is then applied to content area texts to support comprehension and summarizing skills. Includes links to printable template, explanation of "gist." Designed for grades 6-8.

Paraphrasing and Summary
Follow links on the left to a short definition of paraphrasing, a short definition of summarizing, and a short activity.

Process for Writing a Summary
This list emphasizes discovering the writer's purpose before writing a summary.

This interactive lesson makes an excellent introduction to this skill because it focuses more on reading than on writing. It is designed for adult learners and will work with many age levels.

Teaching kids how to summarize
In this forum teachers share strategies they have used to teach summary writing.