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Retelling and Summarizing A quick guide for teachers.

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1 Retelling and Summarizing A quick guide for teachers

2 Overview Retelling and summarizing are two important strategies and activities for readingRetelling and summarizing are two important strategies and activities for reading Retelling and summarizing share some key similaritiesRetelling and summarizing share some key similarities However, it’s important to consider their differences when planning classroom instructionHowever, it’s important to consider their differences when planning classroom instruction

3 What is retelling? Retelling is an oral activity in which a reader explains the main ideas of the textRetelling is an oral activity in which a reader explains the main ideas of the text For example, after reading a story, a reader retells the story by putting it into his or her own wordsFor example, after reading a story, a reader retells the story by putting it into his or her own words

4 Why use retelling in the classroom? Retelling is a powerful classroom tool for building comprehensionRetelling is a powerful classroom tool for building comprehension Retelling fiction requires students to think about characters, setting, conflict,and important eventsRetelling fiction requires students to think about characters, setting, conflict,and important events Retelling nonfiction requires students to consider key ideas and important informationRetelling nonfiction requires students to consider key ideas and important information

5 How do we use retelling in the classroom? The simplest way is to use partner retellingThe simplest way is to use partner retelling After modeling how to retell, pair students up with directions to retell the story to one anotherAfter modeling how to retell, pair students up with directions to retell the story to one another Providing props such as pictures, toys, or even paper figures builds interest and adds a manipulative elementProviding props such as pictures, toys, or even paper figures builds interest and adds a manipulative element

6 Try this! Photocopy pictures to go along with a story. Have students cut out individual pictures. Then, as they retell the story, they can use the pictures to depict the actionPhotocopy pictures to go along with a story. Have students cut out individual pictures. Then, as they retell the story, they can use the pictures to depict the action

7 What does the teacher do while students retell? While students are retelling the story to one another, walk around to listenWhile students are retelling the story to one another, walk around to listen Are students:Are students: –Using character names? –Showing the links between key ideas in the story? –Putting ideas into their own words?

8 Using retelling for assessment Retelling is an aspect of many primary reading assessments, including the DRA and DIBELSRetelling is an aspect of many primary reading assessments, including the DRA and DIBELS Try listening as a student retells a story. Listen for specific details from the story, key events, and important ideasTry listening as a student retells a story. Listen for specific details from the story, key events, and important ideas

9 Some key aspects of retelling A retelling of a story can be longer than the originalA retelling of a story can be longer than the original Retelling can be a great tool to build comprehension of fiction and nonfictionRetelling can be a great tool to build comprehension of fiction and nonfiction Retelling works with students of all grade levels. Even non-readers can learn from retelling parts of a story to one anotherRetelling works with students of all grade levels. Even non-readers can learn from retelling parts of a story to one another

10 What about summarizing? Like retelling, summarizing is an important reading strategy that builds comprehensionLike retelling, summarizing is an important reading strategy that builds comprehension Like retelling, the reader needs to put ideas into his or her own wordsLike retelling, the reader needs to put ideas into his or her own words However, there are some important differences to keep in mindHowever, there are some important differences to keep in mind

11 Key Differences Retelling is oralRetelling is oral Summarizing is writtenSummarizing is written In a retelling, the more details, the betterIn a retelling, the more details, the better A summary should include only the most important detailsA summary should include only the most important details

12 Why use summarizing in the classroom? Summarizing is a key reading strategy—if a student can’t summarize, chances are that full comprehension didn’t occurSummarizing is a key reading strategy—if a student can’t summarize, chances are that full comprehension didn’t occur Summarizing requires a reader to think about the important ideas of a textSummarizing requires a reader to think about the important ideas of a text Many standardized tests require students to write summariesMany standardized tests require students to write summaries

13 What makes a good summary? A summary of fiction should include: –Names of important characters and locations –Important events from the story –A sentence or two that points to the theme of the story A summary of fiction should not include: –The reader’s opinions (This was a great book!) –Trivial details

14 What makes a good summary? A summary of nonfiction should include:A summary of nonfiction should include: –Key words from the passage –Main ideas from the text –A reflection of the text structure of the text A summary of nonfiction should not include:A summary of nonfiction should not include: –Trivial details –The reader’s opinions

15 How do we help readers learn to summarize? Begin with retelling. Students can’t select the most important ideas until they can explain ideas in their own wordsBegin with retelling. Students can’t select the most important ideas until they can explain ideas in their own words Have students choose the best summary from several choices. Discuss what makes each summary a good example or a bad exampleHave students choose the best summary from several choices. Discuss what makes each summary a good example or a bad example

16 How do we help readers learn to summarize? To improve fiction summaries, help readers locate important events from the storyTo improve fiction summaries, help readers locate important events from the story To improve nonfiction summaries, teach students how to identify text structures (compare and contrast, problem solution, chronological order, cause and effect, etc)To improve nonfiction summaries, teach students how to identify text structures (compare and contrast, problem solution, chronological order, cause and effect, etc)

17 Looking for more information? Check out Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Retelling by Emily Kissner /products/E00797.aspx


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