Ideas & Strategies - Summarizing and Note Taking


Important tip: Students need to be shown how to use the various note frames or templates. Do with them (guided practice) to model using frames & picking out important ideas. It is also important to give students plenty of practice picking out or identifying the main idea of a paragraph. Main idea practice helps students begin to summarize.

Math Summary Templates- developed for middle school math students which ties literacy with math concepts.(adapted from Step Up To Writing)

Math summary poster

Math summary IVF with reflection

Math summary IVF for same and different

Math summary with topic sentence and conclusion

Summary Frames (see Classroom Instruction that Works)

Narrative Frame - appropriate for fiction

Narrative Summary Template (pdf, doc)- template (w/fill-ins) created for Intermediate Upper Elem., based on Narrative Frame; model with students how to string ideas together into paragraph form

Primary Narrative Summary (pdf, doc) - Sentence frame for topic sentence to guide early intermediate, in "Step Up to Writing" outline format

T-R-I Frame (pdf, doc) - appropriate for expository reading, probably intermediate and above proficiency level

Definition Frame (pdf, doc) similar to TRI Frame, appropriate for expository reading, probably intermediate and above proficiency level.

Argumentation Frame - appropriate for persuasive texts

Problem Solution Frame - appropriate for fiction or nonfiction

Text Structure Resources- 29 pg. PDF of sample paragraphs, examples, posters,sentence frames, etc.

classroom poster, workmat, book titles for elementary and secondary (pdf, doc) to use for teaching structure (resources taken from Literacy Leader website)

Money Summary: Students get a dollar amount. Each word costs money. For example, a student has $2.00 to spend, and each word costs 10 cents, except a, an, and the are free. The goal is to come up with the overall main idea of a short reading section without going over the dollar amount. (explanation from Step Up To Writing)

IVF Summary Graphic Organizer (adapted from Step Up To Writing)

IVF summary verbs & topic sentence examples

Example of IVF summary organizer filled out

Summary rubric

Add video: ELLs summarizing story using scaffolding (Elementary Example)

Note Taking

Important tip: Be sure to model and allow multiple opportunities for practice of whichever note style you choose to teach. Also, remember that not every type of note style works for every student.

Illustrated Notes: Individual or partners summarize new information by drawing or sketching in a picture form.

T-Chart Template (pdf, doc) in Step Up to Writing Format

Directions & Insect Example

Cornell Notes Template (pdf, doc)

Directions & Arthopods Example

Combination Notes sample from Interactive Notebooks wiki, see resources

Expert Groups form of Combination Notes, from a GLAD unit; this is done in small groups with teacher modeling sketching of pictorial notes

Classroom Agreements in "Step Up to Writing" Format, color coded for topic, key ideas, details & conclusion.

Cornell Notes (SIOP).pdf