Free teaching resource

Summarizing Graphic Organizer

Teach Starter Publishing
PDF | 1 page | Grades: 4 - 6

A chart to practice using the SWBST strategy to write a summary for a fictional piece of text.

Do you have students who still give you a retell when you ask for a summary? Why not try the SWBST strategy with your students.

Summarizing is telling the main points of a piece of text rather than giving a detailed account. This strategy will help your students sort through all of the details and get to the main point of the story. How, you might ask? By allowing them to focus on each literary element in the text.

  • S = Somebody (main character)
  • W = Wanted (motivation)
  • B = But (conflict)
  • S = So (event)
  • T = Then (resolution)

Your students will answer the questions presented on the chart, then put the information together to compose a nice, concise summary for their text.

Why not slip this chart inside a dry-erase sleeve for each student in your reading group and have them practice using a dry-erase marker. This allows the chart to become a staple in your guided reading station without having to make a thousand copies!


This resource was created by Heather Chambers, a teacher/librarian in Texas and a Teach Starter Collaborator.

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