It has turned out to be a tedious job because summarizing skill is not easy to teach. It actually involves many skills - reading for the gist and detail, concentrating on the main points, seeing the key words and getting the central message of the paragraph, being able to join many ideas in one.
Why is it for a student sometimes easier to write a passage of 200 words instead of 100 as required by the task? What if they just do not know how to curb their imagination and control their flow of thoughts? That is where summarizing skill becomes essential. I believe, it can be developed through practice but it takes time. And it is a very creative process, I'd like to add.
Here are some links to useful web pages about writing summaries.
- Summary writing by Drew University
- Summarizing by Reading Quest
- Summarizing skill by Googol Learning
Here you can access it on Google Docs and download it for the use in the classroom. It consists of five paragraphs taken from the internet and a space for writing a summary. I have also added sample summaries for each paragraph but they are not absolute. The teacher can accept many different variants.