Summarizing means writing the main idea of the text and other relevant information in your own words. A summary gives you a clear picture of the topic in short and simple words. Summarizing allows students to express their understanding of the topic and enables them to highlight noteworthy points.
Writing a summary is not restricted to language arts. In fact, good summarizing skills are helpful later in life when one must summarize minutes of meetings or official reports at the workplace. Students start learning the basics of summarizing in elementary school. However, writing one in their own words is usually a part of the middle school curriculum.
Educators often employ a variety of ways for teaching summarizing to students, and online summarizing games are one of them. These games are very effective as they allow students to recollect and practice what they have learned in class.
Interesting online summarizing games for students
Writing a summary is a complex task, and students must get ample opportunities to practice this skill. Online summarizing games are a nice way of blending learning and fun. In this section, we will share with you a couple of engaging online games to help students get better at the art of writing a compelling summary. Let us look at them one by one.
1. Monsters to the Rescue
This game begins with a discussion between monsters talking about how they can rescue their friend, Dracula. They start by analyzing who will be a better fit to rescue their friend. Each one of them presents their arguments which students must read and listen to and then drag the main idea and the supporting points to the space provided on the movie slate. In subsequent parts of the game, students must write summaries of how Dracula gets captured, and how his friends rescue him in their own words. The best part of this game is that it gives students multiple opportunities to write summaries and play a part in this game of rescuing Dracula.
2. Rags to Riches
Here is a game that tests a student’s understanding of a particular topic. It is named Rags to Riches because with each question, students move up the ladder of fame and fortune and earn dollars for giving the right answer. The game has 15 questions in all. A short text is shared in every question. Players must read the text and select the option that serves as the best summary for the given text. If the answer is correct, the player moves up the ladder and adds a certain amount of dollars to their kitty. If incorrect, the game starts all over again. Although the game does not involve writing, it allows teachers to understand how well their students can identify the essence of the text provided.
3. Summarizing: Jeopardy-Style
Factile brings this interesting jeopardy-style summarizing game for students. It is a team game wherein you can select the number of teams you wish to form. Teachers can form teams with an equal number of students who can challenge one another in this game. The game has questions ranging from $100 to $500 and covers topics like what to include in a summary, what to leave, the difference between the main idea and details, and why summaries are important. Teams receive a score depending on the number of correct answers given. They can also check their answers by clicking the “See answer” button on the window.
4. 3 in 1 Summarizing
This game has three sections, and each section helps students work on a specific skill set used in writing a summary. The first section has eight questions that require players to read a short story and select the sentence that is the best one-liner summary of the story. In the second section, players must read four statements and decide if they reflect the main idea of a story or not. And the final section teaches players that it is easier to write a summary when certain details are categorized appropriately. They must go through the given list and drag and drop corresponding category names next to them.
5. The Main Idea Game
Writing an effective summary entails comprehending the main idea of a text and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format. This game primarily focuses on strengthening students’ understanding of a topic’s main idea. Once students learn how to identify the main point of discussion, writing a summary will not be difficult. In this game, students read a story written on the passing cloud and strike a thunder on the tree that reflects its main idea. Players even get the option to use a tornado to automatically remove one wrong choice from the three options. A wrong answer does not stop the game. Rather, players can try again until they get the correct answer.
6. Bamboozle: Summarize It!
If you’re looking for another team game to engage your students, then here you have it! Bamboozle brings “Summarize it!,” a game that students can enjoy playing in class. Before beginning the game, make a few teams. Now teams can take turns choosing which questions they want to answer. Upon selecting a question, a short text appears, which the team members must summarize correctly to score points. After stating their summary, they can click the “Check” button to find out if they got it right. If the team’s answer is correct, they can click the green “Okay” button. If they got it wrong, they must click on the red “Oops” button to record their score accordingly.
7. Summary or Not?
Here is another team game by Bamboozle that allows students to play in teams. The steps are similar to the previous game, like selecting the teams, picking out questions, giving and checking the answers, and finalizing the scores by clicking the “Okay” and “Oops” buttons. However, the concept of the game is a little different. Players get to see an image of an animated movie or a storybook and a sentence related to it. They must now mutually decide whether the given statement is a summary of the story or not. There’s even a little fun element in the game. If the students end up flipping the wrong questions, they can either lose a few points or gain some from their opposing team.
A well-written summary not only helps a reader understand the essence of a write-up but also aids in memorizing the highlights of the subject. This is because a summary is written in a crisp, short format that’s easy to remember.
As writing a summary is not as easy as it may seem, educators must work their way up when teaching kids how to summarize. Beginning from short, easy-to-understand texts to more complex ones when students are ready to take up more challenging topics.
Online summarizing games are a fun way of absorbing and presenting condensed information on a given subject. Try the online games shared in this write-up and see your students having fun while learning a very crucial aspect of language arts. We bet you and your students will have a gala time and won’t be disappointed at all!