In the podcast, Perez, a professor at Arizona State, shares the strategy of using “The Three Questions Summary.” This strategy enables a student to take dense pieces of text and summarize it down to the essentials. The Three Question Summary can be applied in chunks as a student reads and then again as more of the text is processed. A student might answer the questions at the end of each chapter and then again at the end of the text.
Questions to ask as you read the document/book chapter/primary source:
- What is the argument?
- “(Author) argues______” (In one sentence, capture the argument being made. It can be the thesis statement from the author. )
- How is it argued?
- “Argues this by….” (Explain the outline of the argument.)
- Why does it matter?
- “This matters because….” (This third question can show an understanding of lesson objectives or assess the overall comprehension of the material. At this point, the student’s internalization of the material can connect prior knowledge and lead to additional questions.)
Perez states during the podcast that when the 3 Question Summary is applied while reading, students are able to engage and retain more rigorous content. Answering the questions and putting a summary together also reinforces the learning through writing.
The 3 Question Summary is a technique that I plan on using during my next rigorous read. Give it a try with your students and see how it affects the knowledge students walk away with as they engage in their next reading assignment.