If you ask a tiny kid to tell you about a movie (aka summarize a movie), you get the most random collection of details and events. For example, if you say “Tell me about Cinderella,” you’ll get something like “she wears a beautiful dress and her mom is really mean and the cat wants to eat a mouse with clothes and I want to be Cinderella for Halloween!” Absolutely charming, but not a summary.
Needless to say, learning to summarize takes practice and guidance. This can start with younger learners, where you ask them to draw pictures of the various components of a summary. Once kids get the hang of it, you can ask them to provide a text-based summary.
Summarizing Graphic Organizer
All of this can be accomplished with this week’s free printable. It comes in two versions (one with a simpler font that will be easier for younger kids to read, and then another version with a font that’ll interest older kids). You can use this same string of prompt words (somebody, wanted, but, so, then) to help kids summarize a story without giving them a graphic organizer.
Download the full-size printables: Summarizing Graphic Organizer – Upper grades [PDF] and Summarizing Graphic Organizer – Lower Grades [PDF]