When we summarise a text, we keep it short and only include key information.
A good summary will answer the 5 Ws and how.
The five Ws are:
and don't forget How too!
Can you summarise your weekend in no more than two sentences answering the 5 Ws and how?
Here’s Chloe's summary:
On Saturday morning, I went swimming at the leisure centre with my friend to train for our competition. We raced each other using front crawl.
Here, Chloe told us what she did this weekend --> swimming
She told us who she went swimming with --> my friend
She told us when she went swimming --> Saturday morning.
She told us where she went swimming --> the leisure centre
She told us why she went swimming --> to train for a competition
She told us how she trained --> by racing my friend using front crawl
She left out all the extra information like what she ate that morning and how she got there.
When you write a summary, you hold all the power as you must decide which information is the most important.
Lots of the story or text may be interesting but only a small amount will be very important.
Read the extract below from 'Five Children and It' by E. Nesbit
Use the clues in the extract to help you work out what a hired hack is. Clue: it’s pulling the carriage.
Chapter 1: Beautiful as the Day
The house was three miles from the station, but, before the dusty hired hack had rattled along for five minutes, the children began to put their heads out of the carriage window and say, "Aren't we nearly there?" And every time they passed a house, which was not very often, they all said, "Oh, is this it?" But it never was, till they reached the very top of the hill, just past the chalk-quarry and before you come to the gravel-pit. And then there was a white house with a green garden and an orchard beyond, and mother said, "Here we are!"
"How white the house is," said Robert.
"And look at the roses," said Anthea.
"And the plums," said Jane.
"It is rather decent," Cyril admitted.
The Baby said, "Wanty go walky;" and the hack stopped with a last rattle and jolt.
Can you summarise the story so far using who, what, where and how? (We aren’t given enough information to use why and when).
A family travel on a horse and cart to their new house at the top of a hill.
As well as summarising, we can also be asked to order events.
Can you order these events from the extract?
Mother announced they had arrived.
The horse and cart stopped.
Anthea saw the roses.
They reached the top of a hill.
The children poked their heads out of the window.
Always check the text before answering an ordering question.
Here’s the correct order:
Mother announced they had arrived. 3
The horse and cart stopped. 5
Anthea saw the roses. 4
They reached the top of a hill. 2
The children poked their heads out of the window. 1
In this activity, you will summarise and order events from a story. Make sure you always check the text before answering a question.