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Focus on Reading at F.P.S - Website


Summarising is when readers identify key elements of a text and restate the important information in their own words.

Summarising helps students learn to determine essential ideas and consolidate important details that support them in their understanding of what they are reading, viewing or listening to.

I remember...

During read alouds student are reminded to remember interesting information. During the reading stop and pause and have students share what they remembered form the text. Use the connection stem “I remember...” 

Story Wheel

1.       Students list the important events in the story. Emphasize that the events should be from the beginning, middle, and end of the text.

2.       Students revise the list of events to the seven most important.

3.       On a blank story wheel students write story title and author’s name.

4.       Students illustrate one story event in each of the story wheel wedges; so that when the story wheel is completed they have a summary of the story. Students could also include the written event in each of the story wheel wedges.


Story Pyramid


Name a main character

Give two words to describe him/her

Use three words to describe the setting

Use four words to describe the main problem

Use five words to describe an event leading up to the problem in the story

Use six words to describe another event (before or after the climax)

Use seven words to describe and event that lead to the solution

Use eight words to explain the solution


The Gist

Teacher draws 20 word sized blanks on board. After reading a short section of text (1-2 paragraphs) the students identify twenty words to give summary of main idea of what they have read. Read another section of text and this time information from both sections must be incorporated into a new twenty word summary.


Key Word Strategy

Students select words that they believe are important to the understanding of the text. Selected words are written on post-it notes and placed on the page from the text. After reading the keywords are arranged to support a cohesive summary. Students then retell or write a summary.


As students read they use a post-it note to mark points in the text that are V.I.P (Very Important Points) for them and restate in their own words. Students compare points and give reasons why they chose that VIP.

3-2-1 strategy

After reading, viewing or listening to a text students list:

    • 3 major events
    • 2 interesting facts
    • 1 question you still have

 Somebody... Wanted to... But... So 

1.       Students fold a sheet of paper into quarters and write the following headings on the four sections: Somebody, Wanted To, But, So.


2.       Using a story that the students have read, students complete their individual charts by drawing and/or writing a statement under each heading:

• Somebody (identify the character)

• Wanted (describe the character’s goal)

• But (describe a conflict that hinders the character)

• So (describe the resolution of the conflict)

Lesson variation: Place four Hula-Hoops on the floor, and label each hoop with one of the headings (Somebody, Wanted, But, So). After reading a story, have the students stand inside the hoops and summarize each corresponding aspect as they hop through the hoops. 


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