- Identify the topic you want students to learn about, and prepare a lecture or presentation on the topic. You can also use this activity for a film or a read-aloud. Since the summary writing process takes time, the presentation itself should probably take no more than 20 minutes.
- Identify the frequency with which you want to stop and ask students to summarize. Every three to five minutes is typical, but you may want shorter time spans for particularly challenging or dense material.
Teacher reviews summarizing, and presents some models of good summaries.
Teacher introduces general topic of presentation (or film, lecture, read-aloud), and students prepare for summary writing. Teacher reminds students to listen for main ideas.
Teacher delivers or shows first portion of lecture, presentation, film, or read-aloud. Students may take notes on main ideas that they notice.
This first section should take approximately three to five minutes.
Teacher pauses and students write a summary of the first portion of the presentation.
Circulate as students are working, gauging their comprehension and recall, and helping guide them towards more effective summaries.
Teacher presents next section of the presentation for another three to five minutes, and then students write another summary. This process continues iteratively until the end of the presentation.
Generally, students struggle with their initial summaries, but improve rapidly. This iterative process can develop both their auditory comprehension and their summarizing ability.