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TV411: Summarizing

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer, Internet access, projector, speakers (for class presentation)

Activity Description

This activity includes a video and online Web lesson on the skill of summarizing.

TV411's mission is to help adults gain the basic reading, writing, math, and science skills they need to achieve their educational, career, and personal goals. They create educationally sound and entertaining multimedia learning materials and distribute them through television, the Internet, and literacy and community-based programs across the country. TV411 is a project of the Learning and Teaching Division of the Education Development Center, a non-profit organization that addresses challenges in education, health and economic development.


  1. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school before using it with students.
  2. Do the activity yourself in order to anticipate students' questions and difficulties.
  3. Make sure that the quiz works on the computer(s) you or your students will use to ensure that necessary plug-ins are installed.
  4. Review the Vimeo video titled Summarizing. (See the right hand column labeled Related Videos.) Be sure it is available at your school as many schools block Vimeo.


  1. Ask the students to identify their favorite movie. Write their responses on the board (or use a Word document projected on a screen).
  2. Ask a few volunteers to give you a summary of the movie in 2-3 sentences.
  3. Introduce the topic (summarizing) and explain that we can summarize both orally and in writing.
  4. Show the video Summarizing.
  5. Lead a brief discussion about the video. How did the police officer summarize the movie "Titanic"? Did his summary cover the main points of the movie?
  6. Direct students to the online lesson and explain/demonstrate how to navigate the lesson.
  7. Have them read the information and answer the questions. They should click Submit Answer after each question to get feedback on their selection.

Teacher Tips

  • Students should have basic computer and Web site navigation skills before engaging in this activity.
  • Avoid any advertisements on the page. Teach students to do likewise.

More Ways

  • This site has so many more options for activities. Consider their other Language Arts ¬†and Math & Science¬†activities including videos, Web lessons, and print downloads for use in your classroom's curriculum. Use the drop-down menu to browse the full catalog of materials by the skill they address.


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Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions
  • (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information
  • (3.6) Understand basic health and medical information
  • (3.5) Understand basic principles of health maintenance
  • (3.4) Understand basic safety measures and health risks
  • (3.1) Understand how to access and use the health care system
  • (3.3) Understand how to select and use medications
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.