Teaching kids paraphrasing

Mastering the art of paraphrasing is not easy, but it is a talent that is of the utmost significance. In many different types of writing, paraphrasing is a crucial component. Children who do not acquire the skill of paraphrasing properly are more likely to not only become bad writers as adults but also to engage in plagiarism, which is not in the least bit desirable. Your pupils will benefit greatly from the following detailed lesson plan for teaching paraphrasing.

Conversing about paraphrasing

To begin, instruct the students to rephrase anything they have read using their own words. This is the heart of what it means to paraphrase. Splitting your class into pairs and asking each individual student a question such as “What did you do after school yesterday?” or “Tell where you would want to go on vacation and why you would like to go there” is a pleasant exercise that may be done as part of an introduction. Student A provides a response that is between three and four sentences long. Following that, Student B will rephrase what Student A said. The couples will then take turns playing the other role. You should probably demonstrate this for the class a couple of times before you get started teaching it.

Paraphrasing in groups 

Try rephrasing a simple paragraph together as a group for this activity. Show the text to the class using the document camera or write it out on the board. It is recommended that you provide each of your pupils with their own copy. Make sure that your pupils are aware of the distinction between summarizing and paraphrasing the material. Discuss the many various options for approaches that may be taken. One strategy to use is to switch out words and phrases with their synonyms whenever the opportunity presents itself. Then, inside each phrase, rearrange the words in order to create new sentences. Even the order in which the concepts contained inside the paragraph are presented to you may be changed.

After that, you should be aware that some terms and phrases, such as names, dates, titles, and so on, cannot be substituted; nevertheless, you are free to portray them in a different manner in your paraphrase. Last but not least, check to see if the sense of the original text is maintained in the rephrased version.

Doing autonomously

After you have completed a few of these as a group, you may want to try having your pupils work in pairs to rephrase a text that is written on the board. Make sure to give a few groups the opportunity to present their paraphrases to the class. Students are now able to begin working independently on their assignments. It is recommended that you stick to writing one paragraph at a time rather than a complete piece since it will be less daunting. Independent study is made easy with this deck of paraphrasing flashcards!


You will eventually want to advance to paraphrasing full paragraphs at some point. Instruct pupils to begin the process of paraphrasing in manageable chunks, beginning with one paragraph at a time. When your students have reached the point where they are proficient in paraphrasing, you can move on to more advanced activities with them. These activities include paraphrasing from notes you have taken from the original text rather than directly from the text itself, including quotes in your paraphrased writings, paraphrasing some parts while summarizing other parts, and paraphrasing, summarizing, and including quotes all in one piece.

About the Author

Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee

I am a Parsons School of Design graduate with a certified teacher's license. At Gooroo, my passion is to educate students through an artist's approach, which requires critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. During the elementary years, I think that students broaden their perspective and expression through art, and this skill can be applied to any other fields of study later on. I believe that a true educator can be the key to unlocking every child's potential. Gooroo is a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers Math, English, SAT, Coding, Spanish tutoring, and more.