Hurry! Let's Summarize!

Reading to Learn

By Pearson Mathews

Rationale: Once Children have mastered the basic skills of reading, we must teach them strategies of reading for comprehension.  The key strategy in reading for comprehension is summarization. Summarizing is a skill that must be taught to students through teacher modeling. This lesson will teach students how to summarize literature by learning the three necessary steps of the summarization process.


- Paper

- Pencils


- Summarization Poster of Strategies shown to class

-Articles-  National Geographic Kids. 2007. "Leopards".

-Check List (Below)

Did the student:



Get rid of unnecessary information.



Pick out the most important information



Write a sentence that covers everything that is important information from the passage.




1. Today, we are going to learn an important tool that will help make you all better readers. Have you heard of the summarization? Summarization is the process of cutting out pointless information in what we read and picking out the main facts that we as readers need to get the story. It is like what you do when your friend asks you about a book and tell them a short version of what you thought about the book!

2. What do you think we can do while we are reading to figure the main idea of a story? Let's make a list of what you think you would need to make a good summary?  Think about what you do when you reread a text. How do you usually find what is important in the story? -Let the students give their opinions then go over the steps of summarization: (these will be written on a poster board and put in the front of the room)

Summarization Strategies:

          1. Pick out important ideas

          2. Eliminate less important details


          3. Organize the important ideas into one main idea

Now every time you read a passage, you should be thinking about these 3 steps. Once you have finished summarizing a passage, you must make sure that you cover these 3 steps in your summary.

3. Now I am going to model how to summarize articles. I am going to read 'Leopard Lessons' and I will show you the process so pay close attention to how and what I focus on!

4.  I will read the first paragraph out loud to the children then I will discuss what is going on.- "The leopard cub was only eight days old when we spotted her. Her steps were still unsteady. Yet she was bold.  She should have been scared. Predators had killed five other cubs. Would they get this one too?"

- Now I will ask myself what is important and what is not? Then I am going to get rid of unneeded details- Her steps were sill unsteady.Yet she was bold.Would they get this one too?The cub was 8 days old. These are not important because they do not help me answer the question to the story.

- Then I will think about the important facts. What is this story really about? Now I will select what I think are the most important details that help me understand the text- She should have been scared. Predators had killed 5 other cubs. This is important because it helps me answer the question at the end of the paragraph.

- My final step is to come up with a sentence or two to summarize the paragraph, and in this case answer the question the paragraph presents.-The cub ought to have been afraid because predators had killed other cubs.

5. Now you have a chance to work on your summarization skills on your own! Remember to reread and make sure you cover your 3 steps for summarizing. Each one of you will select an article from National Geographic Kids.

For example. There is an article about magma. It says magma Is hot, moveable, and can destroy villages. This volcano is close to a large village, do you think it destroyed the village? Read and let's find out!

Read the article silently. Mark out the unnecessary information with your pencil. Highlight the key information. Write one or two sentence summary of what you have read. Think about what you want people to know about your article by telling us the most important facts!

6. After the students have summarized their articles, they will get into groups of 4; they will share their summaries and why they picked the facts they did.

7. Share summaries with the class and come up with a summary for each article. The students will share and we will collectively come up with one summary that best describes the article

Assessment: Students will be assessed on their summarization sentences.  I will use a checklist to assess their progress. Students are required to earn at least 2 out of the 3 checks possible. (See checklist above.) I will use this information to determine which kids need to work more on this skill.



Jenn Miranda "Let's Sum it All Up"

Jessie Wiggins "Get to the Point"

Lora Haghighi

National Geographic Society. 2008.


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