When you ask students to summarize, has this ever happened? 1) Some students copy verbatim the first and or last sentence. 2) Students write summaries that are actually longer than the original text! 3) Students create summaries and leave out some of the main ideas.
If you have had any of these experiences, it may be time to use GIST to teach summarizing. Here is how it works.
Students read a passage and highlight or determine the 7 most important words or concepts in the passage. (The teacher will provide a specific number of words from 5-10, but it is important NOT to go over 1o.) Students then pair to share their lists and come to consensus on the top 7 ( or number indicated by the teacher) words. During this time, students will have to justify, explain, and evaluate the text in order to come to consensus. Once consensus is reached, the students then write a 1-2 sentence summary of their reading, incorporating as many of their important words as possible.
This is a great strategy to use as an adult. I have used it with my professional reading, and every time I have modeled this in a professional development with teachers, they are amazed by how succinct and clear their summaries become. It is an easy strategy that can be implemented seamlessly into instruction.
Click here to learn more about GIST and print handouts.