Anchorage School District's Middle School Link High 5 Strategies provides lessons, worksheets, and other resources to support teachers with introducing strategies. Three of these strategies are central to summarizing and notetaking. The PowerPoints were compiled and created by Corlee Frederick to complement the work that the Anchorage team had done. Some of Anchorage's actual tips and forms are included below along with a few that Frederick changed the images of or altered the layout for convenience. These altered forms are used by the Rainier School District in assisting students transitioning from the elementary school to the secondary school.

Summarizing Reciprocal Teaching Notetaking

Summarizing PowerPoint

Reciprocal Teaching PowerPoint

Two-column Notetaking PowerPoint 

Middle Link's Sum It Up Lesson and student worksheet

Middle Link's Reciprocal Teaching Lesson and Rainier's recording sheet

Middle Link's Two-column Notes Lesson
Middle Link's additional suggestions on how to improve summaries   Middle Link's additional suggestions on how to improve notes
Rainier student bookmarks for Summarizing front and back Rainier student bookmarks for Reciprocal Teaching front and back Rainier student bookmarks for Notetaking front and back 
  Rainier Reciprocal Role Cards:  Questioner front and back, Clarifier front and back, Predictor front and back, Summarizer front and back  

Summarizing  is one of the most challenging categories to teach.  Students progress from retelling in the early grades, to paraphrasing, and finally to summarizing in the upper grades. 

Below are the components: 

  1. The natural part of summarizing is to delete some of the information, substitute with shortened verbiage when possible, and keep essential information. 
  2. Analysis is required to get at the vital essence of the information. 
  3. Another area that aides students with summarizing is being aware of the text's structure.  These structures may be revealed by the teacher leading the students' discovery by way of questioning.


  • Education Northwest (formerly Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory): Summarizing and Note TakingPDF version
  • Lesson example provided by Education Northwest with 5th graders (but is appropiate in secondary grades) using "Word" tools to write a summary:  PDF version
  • Thorough web site developed by Raymond C. Jones titled Reading Quest:  PDF version
  • Lesson for middle grades by Che-Mai Gray on Read Write Think
  • Marzano Summarizing to Comprehend, ASCD, March 2010
  • Exit Slips can be used to summarize what happened in class each day. Exit slips are not only used to summarize learnings, but also can be used to modify instruction when used as a formative assessment.
  • What is the point? Summary template

Reciprocal Teaching allows support and scaffolding for learners while working with others to constantly revise their comprehension of the text.


Note Taking is a living document that the students create.  The students' notes should be continually revisited to reflect their refined understandings.  Its main purpose should be to be reviewed often and used as a study guide.