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Main idea & Summarizing: Reading Passages with Writing Activities (ESL/EAL/ELA)

Main idea & Summarizing: Reading Passages with Writing Activities (ESL/EAL/ELA)


Main idea & Summarizing: Reading Passages with Writing Activities (ESL Intermediate)


Learning how to find the Main idea can be hard and learning to Summarizing can be tricky for ESL learners! These are however essential skills to have.

Summarizing is a life-long skill. Our students will enter the real world soon and will find themselves having to summarize many different types of work for employers, employees, and even clients. It's essential that they learn this valuable skill.


This 1st part of this pack focuses on summarizing Non-fiction texts. Students will have to identify the main ideas, and summarize an informational text as a whole. There is a set of questions for each non-fiction piece, which will lead learners into identifying the aspects of the text, which are essential to writing a good summary. Repeated use of this leading set of questions will naturally allow learners to develop an efficient strategy to approach informational texts, when summarising. One of the most frequent questions will involve choosing a name for the passage in question. This is a fun and creative way of identifying the Main Idea.


The 2nd part is more focused on Fiction and Creative Writing skills. There is a set of picture prompts with beautiful images that will certainly spark young writers’ imagination. For each picture prompt there is a set of leading questions which will help learners develop a mental structure when creating their stories.

There is also a set of story starters, where the learner is given an illustration and a starting sentence and then has to complete the story. I included this sub-section at the end as it doesn’t have a set structure as for the previous section. The idea is that once learners have practiced with the leading questions, can then attempt a less restrained writing activity to test the techniques learnt. This sub-section can also be used for in Mixed Ability classrooms to provide Differentiated Activities for the more confident students.




  • 27 Non-Fiction Passages with Questions and Activities
  • 11 Picture Prompt Guided Writing Activities
  • 8 “Complete the Story” Creative Writing Activities



The entire resource is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and is also available on Google Slides. Inside the zip folder, along with the main product, you will find a pdf document with the Google Slide Access Link.


This resource is perfect both for classroom use as well as DISTANCE LEARNING.

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