I previously tweeted and posted a link to an excellent piece by Ekuwah Moses titled 3-2-1 and The Common Core Writing Book. In it, she shares a simple summarizing exercise she uses where people identify three words, two phrases and one complete quote from a text. I’d strongly encourage you to read what she has to say about it.

I suspect that many teachers have been using a version of this for awhile, but I hadn’t. Since I learned about it, I’ve had both my World History and United States History English Language Learners use a slightly modified version for a chapter in our textbooks.

I had them choose three words they think are important and explain why they think each one is important; then had them pick phrases of three-to-six words each; choose a quote, and then draw a picture. We’ve then shared them “speed-dating” style.”

It went very well — both as a review, a formative assessment, and as an opportunity for higher-order thinking (having to explain why they chose each word). Plus, it was a great opportunity to practice speaking and listening.

Not everybody exactly followed the format, but most stuck relatively close to it. I’m publishing a picture of an example below. Do you have your own versions of this kind of summarizing strategy?