Summarizing a text fosters understanding. By sifting through text to extract the most important ideas and weaving them into a concise written, spoken, or graphical summary, students address many of the ELA Common Core State Standards in Reading Literature and Informational Text. Help readers to understand the purpose of summaries and how to identify the main ideas and key details in a text. Use technology to support struggling writers in crafting summaries by encouraging the use of diverse methods to present ideas.

View an Introductory Presentation on Summarizing Strategies

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Read the Complete Summarizing Teaching Strategy Guide

Summarizing is one of the most challenging skills for students to master, especially those with disabilities. Consider differentiated ways to describe, model, and prompt use of the strategy to engage the widest range of learners.


  1. Provide Clear Explanations
  2. Give Students Strategies and Models
  3. Provide Opportunities for Practice