The goal of summarisation is to capture the essence of the text clearly and concisely. The ability to summarise has significant benefits for comprehending and ultimately retaining and recalling information. Teaching students to effectively summarise helps them learn to synthesise information, a higher-order thinking skill which includes analysing information and identifying key concepts. 5-4-3-2-1 can be used when first introducing the skill of summarising. The idea is to give students a chance to pick out some key ideas, tap into their prior knowledge, focus on information they find interesting and then pose a question that can reveal where their understanding is still uncertain.
Reciprocal Teaching (Palinscar & Brown 1984) is a guided reading comprehension strategy that encourages students to develop the skills that effective readers and learners do automatically (summarise, question, clarify, predict and respond to what they are reading). Students use these four comprehension strategies on a common text, in pairs or small groups. Reciprocal Teaching can be used with fiction, non-fiction, prose or poetry.