Summarizing Nonfiction - Passages and Activities to Summarize Informational Text

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Grade Levels
3rd - 6th, Homeschool
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47 pages
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  1. This summarizing bundle has everything you need to help your students be successful with this difficult skill! It combines 2 resources for summarizing practice - Summarizing Nonfiction and Summarizing Fiction. These no prep lessons and activities make creating an effective and engaging summarizing
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  2. Use this reading comprehension bundle with its scaffolded activities to help your students build a solid understanding of main idea and details, summarizing, and finding the theme. The resources break down these difficult skills into step by step chunks to give students a strong foundation. Best o
    Price $16.00Original Price $25.50Save $9.50


This no prep resource contains nonfiction reading passages and activities to help students build a better understanding of what makes a good summary when summarizing informational text. The activities build on each other to help you scaffold and differentiate as necessary. Many summary examples are provided - examples of both good summaries and bad summaries. This helps make teaching summarizing to upper elementary students easier.

A digital version for use with Google Slides / Google Classrooms is now available as a part of this resource.

Save 20% when you buy this as part of my Summarizing Fiction and Nonfiction Bundle!

This resource focuses on helping students understand these summarizing strategies:

1. Summaries should only include information from reading passage or book. Additional information should not be added when summarizing texts.

2. Summaries should only include what the author of the passage thinks. You do not add your own opinion when summarizing texts.

3. Summaries should only include the most important information. Students should only summarize key details.

4. Summaries should include enough information to tell the important ideas, but not too many unimportant details.

5. Summaries should be in your own words. A summary should not be copied word for word.

There is also a culminating scavenger hunt activity for summarizing review.

Each of these aspects of a summary are practiced in isolation with a reading passage and a cut and paste activity. Practicing each aspect of a summary in isolation helps make summarizing more understandable to all of your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students, including ELL students or special education students.

Students will also get a chance to practice what they have learned by writing their own summary of a nonfiction article.

This resource includes:

  • 7 nonfiction reading passages
  • Scaffolded activities to go with each of the reading passages to focus on a specific summarizing skill
  • A summarizing sheet that can be used with any nonfiction article to help students practice writing summaries
  • Grading rubrics and answer keys
  • A digital version for use with Google Slides / Google Classrooms as an additional option

You can use these activities as summarizing lessons, or have students practice what they have already learned in a center. There are also activities that could be used as a summarizing assessment, or as a summarizing review.

The focus of this summarizing informational text resource is NOT to have students practice writing their own summaries. Instead, it is laying the foundation so that students have a really thorough understanding of what makes a good summary. This resource has students spend a lot of time differentiating between "good" summaries and "bad" summaries so that students know what should included when they begin to write their own.

I have a similar resource for Summarizing Fiction.

Check out the preview to see how this resource builds on different skills and to see everything included.

If your students are struggling with summarizing, they might need a more solid understanding of main idea. You might find my best selling Main Idea Resource useful.

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Nonfiction Text Features: Posters, Centers, and No Prep Activities

Compare and Contrast: Nonfiction

Kalena Baker, Teaching Made Practical

Total Pages
47 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.


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