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Lesson Standards

  • I can identify main ideas and supporting details in a text.
  • I can create a concise and coherent summary using appropriate academic language.
  • I can apply summarization strategies independently.

Success Criteria


Students will learn how to identify the main idea and supporting details, and use this information to construct concise and accurate summaries.

Learning Intention


I will be able to effectively communicate their understanding of summarizing by using appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure when discussing and writing summaries.

Language Objective


What will our lesson look like?

Smoking is a dangerous and addictive habit that can lead to a variety of health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It's important to quit smoking as soon as possible to reduce your risk of developing these serious health conditions. There are many resources available to help smokers quit, and taking this step can improve your overall health and well-being.

  • Read the paragraph to the left and identify the main idea and supporting details.

Do Now:

When you summarize a text, you briefly state the main points and most important details in your own words. Summarizing can help you organize, explain, and remember concepts in an informational text or events in a story. You can also summarize each stanza of a poem to help you understand a poem’s overall meaning. To summarize, you must decide what is most important as you read. Ask the basic questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Using your own words, write your answers to these questions in a logical order that maintains meaning. Summarizing is sometimes confused with paraphrasing. When you paraphrase, you do not condense the text to its main ideas and most important details. Instead, you restate the entire text in your own words. A summary is much shorter than the original text, but a paraphrase may be the same length as the original text.


verb to state the most important ideas, events, and details in a text in your own words


verb to restate an entire passage from a text in your own words



  • the main ideas or events, making notations in a notebook or graphic organizer
  • the overall structure and order of events and ideas within the text
  • the most important details
  • answers to the basic questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how

Directions: Review the Checklist for Summarizing below. Then read the Skill Model to examine how one student used the checklist to summarize text in ways that maintain meaning and logical order in the excerpt from Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy .As you read, identify the question from the checklist the student used for each annotation. Checklist for Summarizing In order to identify important information to include in your summary, note the following:


  • What are the main ideas or events?
  • What are the most important details?
  • What are the answers to basic who, what, when, where, why, and how questions?
  • How can I restate the main ideas and most important details in my own words while maintaining the original meaning?
  • In what order should I put the main ideas and most important details to make my summary logical?

Summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order, using the following questions as a guide:


Field Manual Up All Night Badge Nature at night To earn a Lumberjane badge Sunset with friends, walked under stars, following her curiosity New day without sleep Sunset of new day

Summarizing text can help you organize and retain information about the plot and events in a story. Let’s look at how one reader identifies key events and uses summarizing as a comprehension strategy to retain information from the Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy excerpt.

Skill Model

  • Who? Lumberjanes
  • What? Up All Night Badge
  • Where? out in nature
  • When? sunset with friends, at night under the stars, new day without sleep, next sunset
  • Why? to earn the badge

The reader identifies information from the beginning of the chapter that is different from the rest of the graphic novel because it is presented as regular text without images. She notes that this is the Lumberjanes Field Manual. To help her understand what the field manual is telling her about the Up All Night Badge, the reader begins asking herself who, what, when, where, why, and how questions.

Skill Model

Panels 1–3: Molly fends off a wolf with kicks and a stick. Panel 4: Molly wears out the wolf, who lies panting. Panel 5: Jo asks, “Where’s Ripley?” as Molly checks on the Wolf, the other Lumberjanes fight, and Ripley watches from above.

Then the student summarizes this information in a way that is logical and maintains the meaning of the text: The Lumberjanes Field Manual gives information about how to earn the Up All Night Badge. To do so, a Lumberjane must be out in nature at night. She must enjoy a sunset with friends, walk under the stars, follow her curiosity, face the new day without sleep, and watch the next sunset. She continues reading the graphic novel and now summarizes information from panels to understand what she is seeing and reading.

Skill Model

The reader knows that summarizing a graphic novel, in which both text and images tell the story, is different from summarizing text alone. For one thing, some panels don’t even contain text—events are entirely conveyed through images. So the reader decides to summarize the situation and events in each panel on the page so that she understands the key events from the page as a whole. By summarizing panels sequentially, she will be able to maintain a logical order when she writes her summary of the page. She notices that the action in panels 1–3 is similar so she combines her notes. Once she has determined the events and the order in which they happen, she writes the following summary, which maintains the meaning and logical order of the text:Molly tries to fend off a wolf with kicks and a stick. She wears out the wolf, who then lies panting next to her. As Molly checks on her wolf and the other Lumberjanes continue to fight theirs, Jo asks where Ripley, who is watching from above, is.

Skill Model