Summarizing Activities - Fiction & Nonfiction (Print & Distance Learning)

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
150 pages
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


Summarizing skills are made easy with this mini-unit that focuses on strengthening this difficult, yet important reading comprehension skill. This pack has two components, the first 64 pages of summary activities that help students practice summarizing nonfiction and fiction texts as well as a 42 slide PowerPoint presentation that is perfect to guide your lessons.

The Update now includes a digital version of this resource perfect for distance learning students using google slides version of the printables.

Start off your summarizing fiction and nonfiction unit with a Summarizing Pretest to assess how much your students know about summarizing different texts, passages, and paraphrasing. Then use the PowerPoint to answer guiding questions such as:

  • What is a summary?
  • Why is summarizing important?
  • How do we determine importance?
  • How do we find the main idea?
  • How do we paraphrase?
  • How do we write a summary?
  • When do we write summaries?

Included are also some great displays you can use on your bulletin board or display in your classroom. Some ideas included are:

SUMMARY Word Display

BME (Beginning – Middle – End) Display

The 5 W’s of Summarizing

SWBST (Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then)

SUM (Shortened, Use own words, Main Idea)

This pack includes printables such as graphic organizers that will help your student to organize their thinking and help summarize while reading, taking notes, and use vocabulary that helps them to summarize. There are two passages to help them practice their newly learned skill. It really is a comprehensive pack that will help you to teach this difficult reading comprehension skill.

Common Core Strategies Covered

RI.3.2 How can I use key details from the text to explain the message, moral, or lesson of a story?

RI.4.2 Why is it necessary when summarizing the text to focus on the essential or main idea?

What information is appropriate to include in a summary?

RL.4.2 Why is theme important to the meaning of a text?

What are the components of an effective summary?


Why is it important to consider multiple details and support them, when summarizing a text?

RL.5.2 Why is theme significant to the meaning of a text? Why is it important to understand the

characters’ motive and actions as it relates to the theme of a story? What makes a good summary?

Download the preview to see more information and watch the video to see the included Summarizing Skills PowerPoint, a great way to introduce and guide your reading comprehension lesson and set the stage for your students to begin writing incredible fiction and nonfiction summaries!

Read the Blog Post for More Information!
✓ Purpose & Types of Literature
✓ Tips of Determining Purpose

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PAGE COUNT - is the resource, PowerPoint and Google slides.

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Total Pages
150 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


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