A Language Arts Lesson Plan on Summarizing Text

Summarizing text, finding the key concept in written text, helps to increase reading comprehension. Students with dyslexia frequently have a hard time breaking text into main ideas and discounting the extra, unneeded information. This lesson plan is designed to help high school students find a single main idea in a written paragraph./p>
A Language Arts Lesson Plan on Summarizing Text

Lesson Plan: Summarizing Text

Student Level: High School

Objective: Students will find the main idea and identify key words and phrases in a paragraph of written text to increase reading comprehension.

Standards: This lesson meets the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy: Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12: Determine central idea of a text and provide an objective summary of the text.

Time: Approximately 45 minutes, to be incorporated into a Language Arts class meant to reinforce reading comprehension skills.


  • Computer with internet access
  • Cell phone(s) with ability to text
  • Written text

Set Up: Prior to beginning this lesson you must sign up for a free membership at Wiffiti.com. This site is a broadcasting site and has been used for large scale events such as political conventions and concerts. Once you have an account, click on the link, “Make a Screen. Be sure to check the box next to Rated G Messages to prevent students from sending inappropriate comments to the screen. Once you publish your screen you will receive information on how to text to the board.

Before beginning this lesson, review appropriate use and internet safety.


  • Choose a paragraph or short excerpt from a text book, novel, or short story and have students silently read the selection.
  • Ask students to create a summary that is 140 characters or less, in other words, the length of a text message.
  • Give students the information on how to text to Wiffiti.
  • For students without a cell phone or without texting capabilities, have students share or have one phone that is passed around the class.
  • Have students text their summary.
  • The summaries will appear on the Wiffiti screen as they are sent.

As a class, go over the different summaries. Students can vote on which summary best describes the reading selection or you can simply read the different texts out loud.

Assessment: Students can assess each summary as a class or you can assess the summaries, discussing which summaries best described the reading selection.