Let’s Summarize!




by: Lauren Vacca

Reading to Learn




Rational: This lesson focuses on the reading strategy; summarizing. When students are able to summarize they are able to understand and remember information better. Good readers use summarizing to identify the main ideas and details in a text. A good reader identifies the main ideas and details then they restate them briefly in their own words, summarizing








-        Copy of  book for each student:

-        Overhead

-        National Geographic article Tiny Frogs Ring in Spring transparency and copy for each student.

-        Poster with summarization steps: 1. Highlight important details 2. Scratch out repeated or unimportant details 3. Organize important parts by summarizing what you have learned

-        Pencils and highlighters

-        Paper

-        Summarization checklist for each studentssessment Checklist


Did the student:



Read the article?



Pick out the most important information from the article?



Delete unnecessary information?



Understand the information from the article?



Write a sentence(s) summarizing the most important parts of the article read?











1. I will begin the lesson by asking the students if they can tell me what it means to summarize. Discuss the students answers then Explain and Model :

 Say: The main idea of a paragraph tells what that paragraph is about. Sometimes the first sentence gives the main idea. The details tell more about the main idea.

 Summarizing is an important strategy that can help us understand and remember information. I will have a poster listing the steps to summarization and explain to the class. These are the three steps to summarize.

-First, you pick out all the important details. 

-Second, you find details that are repeated or that are not important to the text and get rid of them. 

-Third, you organize the important parts and lastly make a main idea to summarize what you have learned.

    Say: Now we are going to work together on summarizing the first paragraph of an article from National Geographic about frogs. These frogs are not like other frogs. They are very special. Let's read the first paragraph together and see if we can find some of the reasons that they are so special.

3.    Pass out copies of the National Geographic article Tiny Frogs Ring in Spring and allow the student's time to read it silently. Once the students have read the first paragraph of the article silently, read the paragraph aloud.

4.   I will then Model on the overhead how to summarize using the 3 steps for summarization and encourage the students to follow along.

Say: First we need to highlight the important information. Does anyone see something important? Yes, it is important to know that the frogs are called Spring Peepers. We need to highlight that!


Do you see any others? What about anything that we do not need or that is repeated? We could probably cross out the part that repeats that the frogs come out in spring. Lets cross those out by drawing a line through them with our pencil.


Ok, now that I have done my two steps I can now summarize with the important information I have left! There are little frogs called spring peepers that live in Canada and The United States. They are rarely seen, but you can hear them making peep noises at the beginning of spring. That's a great summary of the first paragraph!


5.   Assessment: I will assess their summaries that they turn in to see if they correctly marked out the unimportant information and highlighted the important information.  I will read the summaries to make sure they contain the main ideas of the articles. use assessment sheet above.



Frog Article: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/AnimalsNature/Spring-peepers

Harris, Katherine, Sum It Up!


Sum It All Up!, Greer Montgomery, http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/projects/montgomeryrl.html


Return to Index