Lesson Plan

Sum It Up: Introduction to Writing Summaries

Students are often taught that written pieces should be long and detailed, but this isn't the case when it comes to summaries. This lesson gives students the chance to practice keeping summaries concise in a fun and engaging way.
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to write short, informative summaries of stories and events.


(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to brainstorm answers to the question: What constitutes a good piece of writing?
  • Have each student discuss her answer with a partner.
  • Allow students to share their answers with the rest of the class.
  • Introduce the concept of a summary to the class. For example, explain that summaries are different from other types of writing in that they're very short and concise, or specific. They give information about things that occur in a story or event without using a lot of detail.
  • Hold up a novel, or have students take out their own novels if they have them on hand. Direct attention to the back cover. Explain that the writing on the back is an example of a summary.
  • Tell students to ready their pencils; they'll be writing 10-word summaries today!