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Lesson Plan

Get the GIST: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area

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Get the GIST: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time 30 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Che-Mai Gray

Marysville, Washington


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Content area classroom texts

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Overhead projector (optional)

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1. The FCAT Express: Gist Strategy website provides a description of the GIST strategy. It may be helpful to familiarize yourself with this strategy before beginning the lesson.

2. Preview and obtain a list of Internet addresses for newspaper websites appropriate for your students' needs. You may suggest local newspaper websites combined with some national and international sites. For example, students in the U.S. state of Washington were provided with Internet addresses for HeraldNet, The Seattle Times, Bogota Daily, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Times Online.
[Note: Most newspaper websites include advertisements similar to a printed newspaper. You should screen the online advertisements to be sure they are appropriate for your students.]

3. Familiarize students with how to locate newspaper websites on the Internet and how to use website search tools.

4. Prepare samples of news articles and copies of the blank GIST Template document for use with an overhead projector.

5. The GIST Template may be printed and distributed to students. You may also offer students the option of accessing and filling out the GIST Template online while researching information on the newspaper websites. You will need to bookmark the electronic Gist Template document on the computers students will be using. Skilled users may easily switch between a newspaper webpage and the template.

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