ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Get the GIST: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Recurring Lesson|
|Estimated Time||30 minutes per session|
In this series of lessons, students read newspaper articles obtained from newspaper websites. Students then identify journalism's "5 Ws and 1 H" (who, what, when, where, why, and how) and complete a template with the corresponding information they have found in the article. Finally, students use their notes to write a 20-word summary called a GIST. Once students have mastered writing a GIST using newspaper articles, the strategy is then applied to content area texts to support comprehension and summarizing skills.
Rhoder, C. (2002). Mindful reading: Strategy training that facilitates transfer. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(6), 498–512.
- All students benefit from strategy instruction. Too many strategies taught in a short amount of time do not lead to transfer or independent performance of the strategy because students are not able to practice before applying them to content. Therefore, students should learn one or two strategies to allow for transfer.
- Students need to learn a reading strategy out of context of the content area in order to effectively assimilate the strategy. Once students no longer need scaffolding using the strategy, application to content area is possible.
- The model for strategy instruction is–direct instruction, practice using curriculum-free materials, and application to curriculum.