Short and Sweet

Reading to Learn

Heather Tingas


Rationale:  The goal of reading is for the reader to comprehend what they are reading. Readers need to be able to understand the text and understand what it is saying. This lesson will help students summarize what they are reading by choosing options that are more or less important than other ones. Eventually, this will help students with their comprehension.


"Steps to Summarizing" poster

1.Delete anything that you know is not important in the story.

2.Pick out items and events that you know are important.

3.Compose a statement that covers everything the writer is saying about the topic.

Overhead projector

"Brown Bear" by Animal Planet (article on over head)

 Copy of Science News for Kid's news article: Recipe for a Hurricane by Emily Sohn for each student.

Highlighter for each student

Dry erase board

Personal Reading Book

Assessment checklist:   


Did the student:



Remove any unnecessary information?



Remove any information that had already been said?



Substitute easy words for long important sentences




Select a topic?



Create a topic sentence if there wasn't already one?






            Begin the lesson by explaining what summarizing is.  "Summarizing is when we read a text and then make a statement, covering all the key facts the authors is saying about the subject.  You should not include details in a summary.  I want you to include the main ideas, which is the reason for why the author wrote this passage.  Now, we are going to be reading and practicing summarization."

           "First, I want everyone to read silently or in your heard.  Remember, that nobody is supposed to hear you when you are reading silently.  Everyone take out a practice book from your desk and show me that you can read silently for two minutes."

We will now take out the Steps to Summarizing Poster.  "There are three steps I want everyone to take when summarizing. First, delete anything that you know is not important to the story.  Second, pick out items and events that you know are important.  Third, compose a statement that cover everything the author is saying about the topic.  These steps are very important and should always be used when summarizing a passage that you have read."


"Now, I will model summarization.  I will use an informational passage that we have recently read and everyone is familiar with. Does everyone remember reading this story yesterday called Black Bears?  I am going to summarize, using the summarizing steps and we will all be able to recall what the story was about."  This article is about how baby black bears act with each other and their environment. Their environment is their surroundings. I am going to read the whole article through one time to make sure I understand the article. If there are words I do not know, I am going to decode them and look them up if I don't know them. Once I know and understand the article, I am going to start looking for my information. At this point, I would read the whole article aloud for the class. Then I would underline the important information and circle the details.

           "Now, that you have seen me summarize, we are all going to do it together."I will now pass out a copy of the Science News for Kid's news article: Recipe for a Hurricane by Emily Sohn to each student. I will introduce the article; "I'm sure all of you have heard about the dangers of a hurricane recently or at least seen it on TV.  Well, every year major storms cause great damage across the country.  There is nothing people can do to stop the force of nature.  New technologies are being developed each day to detect these storms earlier, so that we can be prepared for when they arrive."

            I will ask each student to now take out the article and read silently at their desk.  They will be given highlighters to highlight important information, but no details. 

           When everyone is finished reading the article, I will ask the students to get into groups of two and summarize the text they have just read.  The Steps to Summarizing Poster will be on the board as a reference.  Each of the group's summary will be used as an assessment tool.  I will assess each summary by using the assessment checklist. 


 Sohn, Emily.  Recipe for a Hurricane.  Science News for Kids

Black Bear Article

Wood, Ashley.  Lets Sum it all up!



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