SOS: Read All About It

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Read All About It

PDF Version


Summarization is restating the main ideas of a text with as few words as possible. Summarizing can be written, spoken or acted out through drama, music, in groups or individually. Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) have done extensive research to show summarizing to be an effective teaching and learning strategy. Teachers who begin teaching with the big points in the day’s lesson, and end learning by having students summarize their discoveries see gains in student retention of material.


  • Listen to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address audio file and read the speech transcript as it is played aloud.
  • Listen all the way through the first time with the purpose of citing evidence from the text for the headline, “Monument Established at Gettysburg” (posted on a sentence strip on wall).
  • Listen a second time, pausing the audio at specific moments to discuss in pairs/whole group:
    • [00:44] “dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live”
    • [1:10] “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here”
    • [1:24] “the world will little note nor long remember what we say here but it can never forget what they did here”
    • [1:46] “dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause”
    • [2:04] “these dead shall not have died in vain”
  • Listen a third time having students write summaries in their own words to support the headline (working individually, in pairs, small group).
  • Listen a fourth time, pausing as needed, to finalize summaries on sentence strips.
  • Write summarized supports on sentence strips and post under the headline.
  • For rigor, have students come up with the headline, or more than one



  • Review characteristics of a good headline. 
  • Select an audio file or use a video with only the narration for students. Song files are excellent as well.
  • If the audio or song asset does not have a transcript, search for it by title online.
  • You many want to download the media you choose so it is available to play offline.
  • Make sure you have speakers available for clear volume.
  • Provide repeated experience with the media to interpret and summarize evidence supporting the headline.
  • Students generate summarized supports citing evidence from the text and post under headline.
  • After playing a number of times, provide sentence strips for students to write headlines.


You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.


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One Comment;

  1. Deborah Thonus said:

    Your activity is just like a close reading strategy with multiple opportunities to engage with the content. Awesome! I also just found out that in MA ,and perhaps in the Common Core generally, multi-media IS considered text. Now that’s 21st century thinking!

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