How to teach children to summarize

How to teach children to summarize

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We have made it clear that instilling in children the habit of reading has many benefits. Knowing new words will increase their vocabulary, they will learn spelling, awaken their curiosity and imagination and all together will make them have a greater reading comprehension, so important when it comes to understanding a text.

There are children who despite studying many hours they have a very low school performance, no matter how much they read if they do not understand the message, it will be of no use and the time spent will always be insufficient, that is why it is so important that since they are little we do reading comprehension exercises and teach them to decipher the fundamental content of the text, or what is the same, to make a summary of what they have read.

To start with the youngest children we can turn to children's stories and poetry, and always according to their age. I leave you an example with one of my poems. We will read the story with them, slowly, if necessary several times.


A whale has escaped

to go to the river to swim,

Well, think that from memory

know the bottom of the sea.

The whale by the river,

he is looking at the shores,

Enjoying of the landscape

he has a great time.

Do not know at what time

starts to have problems,

but since her body is big

the belly drags in the sand.

Gets caught in the river

very scared and sad,

the more your body moves,

the more buried it remains.

It moves from side to side

wags its heavy tail,

the waters rise and fall

forming a huge wave.

Finally swimming slowly

from there you can get away,

and going down the river

come back happy to the sea.

There swimming at ease

has started to think,

there is nothing better in the world

to return home.


Is there a word that you do not understand? The first thing to do is to clarify its meaning, as it is essential when it comes to understanding the message of our text. At this point we will ask ourselves, who or who are the protagonists of our history? We will invite you to tell us clearly. We will follow the order of the poem and teach them to relate the main ideas to each other.

The main message will be:The whale goes swimming in the river and has problems.

The second part following our presentation will be: Gets trapped in the sand.

The last part of the exhibition will be: But she escapes and returns to the sea happy.

In these three sentences is the key to understanding our history: The whale goes to swim in the river, gets trapped in the sand, but escapes and returns to the sea happy.

When the children are older we can teach them to underline the main ideas and write them down in a notebook to make a small outline, and thus be able to summarize the story. We will use dictionaries and encyclopedias if necessary and we will encourage you to summarize with your words because this way we will make sure that they have understood the message well.

If we accustom children to know how to summarize texts from a very young age, when they are older they will need fewer hours of study, and they will have a better school performance.

You can read more articles similar to How to teach children to summarize, in the School / College category on site.

Video: Summarizing stories. Reading. Khan Academy (October 2022).