Storm Into Summarization
Jean Hawkins
Reading to Learn



Rationale: The goal for this lesson is to have students read for comprehension and begin to use summarization strategies. Skilled readers have learned to cutout what is not important in a particular text and focus on the intended meaning by zoning in on context clues. Students will do this by reading passages about hurricanes and marking out the text in which they find un-important as they focus on the key elements that deal with hurricanes.


*Scholastic Article:
 “Hurricane Hits Louisiana”
“Hurricanes” article and assessment
black pens
hurricane images
KL poster-hurricane facts
map of United States
summary checklist


*First I will say to students: “Today we are going to practice reading on our own to gain information about hurricanes.” I will ask “Can anyone share something they already know about hurricanes to share with the class?” Once a few of the students have shared what they know. We will add those facts to a KL chart under the column “K”(what we know). I will encourage all students to use what they know to add more information later.


* I will then show images of hurricanes as well as the after-effects of hurricanes. “Over five years ago there was a hurricane named Katrina that hit New Orleans, Louisiana.” Show region on the map. “Let’s see what we can learn about hurricanes through this article titled “Hurricane Hits Louisiana.” I am going to read through this article to learn more about hurricanes and decide what I think is important and what is unimportant. I want to learn more about hurricanes as a storm and what hurricanes look like and what they do.


*After reading through the article with the class I will decide that I think the last sentence of the first paragraph is the most important when dealing with knowledge about the hurricane itself. “It is important to know about the number of people that were effected by the hurricane, but the last sentence tells me how hurricanes cause this damage and more about them.” “The first couple of sentences are mainly about the people and not the hurricane.” So I think I will cross out the first two sentences so I won’t re-read this information and I will highlight what is important and something to add to our list of things we learned about hurricanes.

and focus on the last sentence of the paragraph that tells us that hurricanes have very strong winds and cause leaks and loss of electricity.


Hurricane Hits Louisiana

By Suzanne Freeman

August 29—More than 1 million people left their homes in the New Orleans area before Hurricane Katrina hit land Monday morning. Another 10,000 people huddled for safety in the Superdome. (The stadium began to leak and temporarily lost electricity Monday morning as winds intensified.)


* I will then have students practice crossing out what they think is important and highlighting what they find important in the rest of the article, reminding them that we are searching for information just about the hurricanes as a type of storm. As they continue reading the article, I will walk around to their different tables asking questions such as “Why did you decide to cross this phrase out?” “What is something new you have learned about hurricanes?” and “Why is this fact something you found to be important.” After their independent practice, we will fill out the “L” column of what we learned from the article.


* After this practice I will ask students what they learned from the rest of the article about hurricanes. We will make a list of facts on a poster-board under the “L” column for things we learned. Once we go over these facts we will

* I will then hand out a passage about hurricanes telling students that they are going to practice reading for information on their own. They must summarize what they learned and fit the requirements on a rubric that includes 7 key elements in summarization.


After reading another passage on Hurricanes The students will complete this assessment and turn it in at the end of class.

-The next day I would use the assessments to add more facts on our posterboard.



“Kids National Geographic”

 Hurricane images:

“Hurricane Hits Louisiana” by Suzanne Freeman.

“Look Who’s Summarizing” by: Ashley Buckelew