Lesson: Elements of a Good Summary

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Lesson Objective

Students will know and be able to construct a good summary.

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.IT-E.1. Identify the author’s purpose and summarize the critical details of expository text, maintaining chronological or logical order.





Students will know and be able to construct a good summary.

Do Now

Write a summary of the last movie you saw.


The ability to write a summary is a tool you will need for the rest of your life. It is essential to daily communication and academics. It is the ability to tell what is important in a concise way. You give summaries all the time. If someone ask you, “What did you do in math class today?” You might say, I studied fractions. Is that a good summary?  Discuss why that is not a good summary. Have students tell you what the important elements of a summary are. Have them explain the important elements when summarizing fiction (character, setting, problem, solution, moral). Also explain the importance of retelling in chronological order.


Direct Instruction

Tell students that we are going to write a summary of Me and Nessie by Eloise Greenfield.  Read to p. 5. Say, “The author  is showing and telling us the problem in the story very early on. I am already thinking that the problem in the story (her imaginary friend) might be important to my summary. I also already have three characters to add to my summary. I am going to use this graphic organizer to keep track of my thinking. (see story map:  http://www.sanchezclass.com/reading-graphic-organizers.htm)


Guided Practice

Continue to read the text and add to the graphic organizer. Then demonstrate how to take the information from the graphic organizer to write a short summary. in chronological order.


Independent Practice

Have students use graphic organizer to write a summary about their independent text.



Share summaries and remind students of the purpose of being able to summarize a text.


Assess students graphic organizer



Lesson Resources

Graphic Organizers for Reading  


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