How Do I Teach Students to Write Summaries?

Written by Candace Carlson. Posted in Education

As a teacher it is very important that you teach your students how to summarize because this skill will help them outside of school too. Students will need to know how to summarize for school or work presentations, for work papers and for his day to day life. When you teach your students how to summarize try using a number of techniques until you find the one that makes the engage.

At the beginning of the first class explain to them what is the meaning of summery and why is it important that they know how to do it. Try to make it as short as possible and in a language that can be understood by all students. You can simply tell them that summery is the essence of what you read.


During each unit give your students examples of strong summaries and explain to them why they are strong. You do not have to search them in books because you will find them at the end of each unit. Ask your student if it was up to them if they would add more phrases or not and why.

To give your students a good example on how to summarize do it in front of your class and after you have finished tell them what were your mistakes and what information you should have added. Always explain why. Tell them that even though you are summarizing a story you still have to respect a certain style of writing. Give them as an example your way of writing a summery.

Give your students assignments because only by doing exercises they will learn. What you should do is divide your class into a couple of groups and tell them to do a summery based on a story you give them to read. After they have finished make them read the paper in front of the class.

Another interesting exercise is making each student read a passage and summarize it. Till the next class you will have to provide him with certain advice and criticism. If you notice that your students have problems in certain areas you should dedicate a few classes to solve them. Give your students assignments until you are certain that they have properly learned how to do a summery.

This is how you should teach your students how to write a summery. The main idea is that you give them lots of assignments and help them when you see that they get stuck.