1 - SMART Strategies


Lesson 1
Summarize as You Read


Independent readers automatically summarize as they read.  When you summarize, you:

  • Look at titles and subtitles to help you identify the main idea of the passage
  • Chunk the passage into sections as you read to help you keep track of how the main idea is being developed
  • Separate information into main ideas and supporting details


To keep track of your thinking, you should make notes as you are reading. Keep in mind that you will be able to make notes in the margins of your OSSLT test paper.  These notes will help you when you return to the reading to search for answers.


Look to the examples on making margin notes, then try the practice activity.




Example 1

The cheetah is an African cat that is different from lions and leopards living in the same area in Africa.  It is different in the ways it catches its food, the way it uses its claws, and in its incredible speed. While the lion and leopard ambush their prey, a cheetah runs it down. Cheetahs can run 100 km/h. And though humans should fear a cornered lion or leopard, the cheetah is no threat.  In fact the reverse is true: cheetahs need to fear people. The only place you can find them is where they are protected from hunters. Move you mouse over the notes below to see possible margin notes.


Note 1


Note 2


Note 3



Example 2

The Historical Barbecue


    During warm weather, a favourite American form of entertainment is the barbecue. Families light up the charcoal and cook chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs to eat in the open air.  Did you know that barbecues have been held for over four hundred years?


  The Carib Indians in the West Indies and in northern South America had wooden grills on which they broiled, smoked and dried meat and fish.  They called these grills barbacan.  The idea was introduced into the United States around 1700.


    A barbecue, originally, was simply the roasting or broiling of a large animal, such as a hog or an ox, over an open pit.  Later, it came to mean an open-air social or political gathering. George Washington often attended barbecues in Virginia.


    Perhaps the biggest barbecue on record was held in 1923, when John Calloway Walton gave a barbecue for 100,000 people, to celebrate his election as governor of Oklahoma.  A mile-long trench was dug to roast the beef, pork, mutton, buffalo, bear, reindeer, antelope, squirrel, opossum, coon, rabbit, chicken, goose and duck that was on the menu. In addition, a massive amount of bread and coffee was served.  The coffee was made in urns that held 10,000 gallons each.  All in all, it was quite a feast.

Move you mouse over the notes below to see possible margin notes.


Note 1


Note 2





Now it’s your turn.

Next: 1.2 Practice in the table of contents