Two Words, Two Sentences:

This strategy requires that either the teacher or student sections the text into “chunks” of a paragraph or two. After reading, the student creates a two word title and writes a two sentence summary for each chunk.

This is a great method of reading that not only helps with breaking down larger reading assignments into smaller, more manageable chunks but also helps students stay aware of when they may be getting off track in their reading. The constant summation keeps students aware of central themes and main ideas of the reading.


1. First step in this process is having the teacher model the proper technique needed to summarize the reading. The teacher should practice the skills needed like how a student could use two words to title a section of the reading The teacher, also, should explicitly direct students on how one would summarize a reading using only two sentences. These skills may need to be practiced under teacher guidance before students are able to do this on their own.

2. The teacher must break down readings into smaller chunks. Each chunk is assigned to the student. The student will then read the shorter portion of the reading individually.

3. After the student reads the portion of the reading they will be give 5 minutes to create a two word title that is relevant to what they just read.

4. Then students will be asked to summarize the reading using only two sentences. They should be reminded that they should be only including main ideas, key concepts and important vocabulary. It would also be beneficial for students to be aware that they should be trying to use vocabulary in the proper context and with proper meaning. This is repeated for each chunk of the reading.

5. Once the reading is finished the teacher will then ask students to break up into groups of two or three. They will then be asked to read each other’s titles and summaries and review it for important information. Once that is accomplished they should begin to create a title and summary as a group for each chunk of the reading.

*This method could very well be used in a number of different lessons in middle school science class. In this instance I would use this during reading strategy in a lesson about the animal kingdom. The first thing that I would do is activate the student’s knowledge about animals and classification systems. I would then show students how they may be able to read a section and summarize it. These tools to summarizing would include pinpointing important vocabulary and identifying the main ideas. The students will then read a small section of the chapter regarding classifications in the animal kingdom. When that is completed they will be given five minutes to create a two word title (hopefully their own and not one they found in the book). Once that step is complete they will be given ten minutes to write a two sentence summary of what they have read. it is emphasized that they should try to include the important vocabulary if at all possible. These steps are repeated for all the smaller sections of the chapter until it is complete. Students will then gather in groups to share their titles and summaries. They will then set up a group title and summary for the entire chapter. These will all be shared with the class and a starting point for further class discussion.