Writing a Knockout Summary

Class began the usual way. For today’s WA, students wrote down the seven components of a good summary (or as many as they could remember), and then we went over them as well as book talks and homework after reading time.

We moved into Notebook Thinking, and the prompt for today is below:


After writing, I introduced students to our new words this week, giving them examples and using them in sentences as the students wrote them into their words section:

Disdain – noun – a feeling that someone or something is bad, worthless, or low

Malleable – adjective – capable of being shaped or formed by pressing, hammering, or another forceful action

Ominous – adjective – Being a sign of trouble, danger, or disaster; threatening

Quell – verb – to cause a feeling to become less intense; calm or settle

This lead us to the main section of class. Students picked up the handout below and an article to go with it. I reminded students that summarization will be super applicable to their lives inside and outside of school; for example, in social studies, students have to complete current event assignments where they have to find and summarize an article.

Writing a KNOCKOUT Summary

Students now know what the seven parts of a good summary are, and they have practice with determining the central idea of a text, so now it is time to put these skills together.

We went over TIP #1, and then students read the article, jotting down ideas they had for the central idea and then talking with a neighbor about it.

I demonstrated how I come up with a central idea by first making a list of topics I kept coming across in a reading and how I can use those topics to create a central idea.


Then we moved on to TIP #2. This is about dividing up the article based on where the topic changes in the article. We went over how this does not include the hook! Your summary should not include a main idea from the attention grabber of a piece of writing.

I showed students how I sectioned up the article. For each section, students worked on identifying a main idea.

After you identify a main idea for each of the sections, it is time to put it all together in a summary. I started mine and gave students the example. I would still have to add my last three sentences – the main ideas from the last three sections.


By following these steps, students can be sure to write a knockout summary every time!

They did not have time to finish in class today, so they will have time for that tomorrow.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Central idea work – see google classroom!