Group Summarizing

This strategy supports students to work together to preview text before reading, locate
supporting information and examples during reading, and summarize their ideas on a four-
quadrant chart after reading. The charted information provides a structure to write the group

Use before, during, and after reading to:
• Involve students in constructing a meaningful synthesis of what they have read
• Help students learn how to do a summary before they are asked to create their own
• Provide practice in paraphrasing
• Allow students to demonstrate understanding of concepts through the completed group
summary chart
• Link the different parts of the reading process
• Develop higher order critical thinking skills

1. Providing four major topics, model the group summary process by preparing a sample of a
completed chart. Then set up the topics for a chart, with prepared summary sentences. After
students read, have them link the sentences to the appropriate topic/concept and write the
sentences in the correct chart quadrant.
2. Divide students into small groups.
3. Have each student create a four-quadrant chart and label each quadrant with the topic or
concept. Explain that the purpose for reading is to learn important information about each of
the topics or concepts they selected.
4. During reading, students jot down notes under each heading with page number references.
5. After students have read the text and make their notes, tell the group to discuss with one
another what information and ideas they found that were important about the key words or
concepts on the chart.
6. When the group agrees that the supporting information is important, it is added to the chart.
7. Once the charts are finished, ask the group to re-read what they have written and be sure
their ideas are clearly expressed.

  • Ask students to preview the text passage or chapter before reading to identify four major topics or concepts presented by the text author.
  • Have students create their charts on the whiteboard or wall poster, so others in the class
can see how the ideas of different groups are similar or different.
  • Have students use the group summary chart to write an individual summary.
© 2006 PCG’s Center for Resource Management rev. 3/07