Successful Summarizers!



Reading to Learn

Grace Boutwell


Rationale: As students become better readers, it is important for them to know how to gain meaning and understanding about the stories they are reading. The ability to summarize is vital to understanding and being sure students are learning the most important information from the reading. Although there are many comprehension strategies, this lesson will focus on teaching students how to summarize a selection of text. Students will use strategies such as deleting unneeded information and using a graphic organizer to effectively summarize information.






-chart paper

-Facts about Bald Eagles Article

- Article on "Gorilla Rescue"

- Rubric:


Did the Student…



Get rid of unimportant and repeated information?

Organize items and events together?

Select a topic?

Write a topic statement that covers everything that is important from the passage of the text?


-Checklist for each student with the following:

            1. Delete unimportant information

            2. Delete repeated information.

            3. Substitute easy words for lists of items.

            4. Add a series of events with an easy action term.

            5. Select a topic.

            6. Invent a topic sentence if there is not one already.




*Begin with Vocabulary lesson to build background knowledge:

Words: Poacher, intended, enclose

-"Does anyone know what a poacher is? A poacher is an illegal hunter, they hunt animals that they are not supposed to hunt."


-"It is illegal to hunt pandas, so a panda hunter is a poacher! It is legal to hunt deer when it is the right season so would a deer hunter be a poacher? You're right! A deer hunter is not a poacher!"


-"Is a fisherman a poacher? An elephant hunter? A duck hunter?"


-"Now I'm going to give you a sentence that I want you to finish-

            A ______ is a poacher because _______.


1. Start the lesson by discussing what summarizing is and why it is an important part of the reading process. "Can anyone tell me what the word summarize means? When we say the word summarize we are saying to take out the main points of a passage and put them together to create a summary. It is important to learn to summarize so that you can remember important facts that you read, not the whole text!"


2. "Part of summarizing a story is reading alone, and asking yourself questions quietly about what you are reading as you read. Let me show you an example of what I am talking about. To become great summarizers, you have to practice and follow a few steps. Today we are going to be reading about bald eagles. Bald eagles are very fascinating animals. They have a wingspan of 8 feet and can live for 35 years. Let's read and find out more facts about the bald eagle. This passage gives us lots of information about the bald eagle and we are going to read it, find all the important information, and write a summary about the passage. How would I summarize a long and difficult passage that gives facts about bald eagles? Let me show you!" "I'll cross out unimportant details, then highlight important ideas and put it all into 1 sentence. What's important?" Read the passage aloud to the students. "What the passage is talking about, what it is, and why they did not become extinct are all important parts of this paragraph." Cross out and highlight the parts of the article that answer the questions you are asking yourself.



A bald eagle's white head may make it look bald. But actually the name comes from an old English word, "balde," meaning white. These graceful birds have been the national symbol of the United States since 1782. Bald eagles were on the brink of extinction because of hunting and pollution. But laws created almost 40 years ago have helped protect them, and they've made a comeback.


Say: "I crossed out the first two sentences because they did not give important information about the bald eagle. I highlighted bald eagle because that is what the passage is about. I crossed out "these birds have been" because that is unimportant information. I highlight ___________(say the highlighted area) because it gave important information about how they almost became extinct and why they are protected now."

Summary: The bald eagle, the United State's national symbol, almost became extinct until laws were made to protect them.




3. "Now we are going to read the first paragraph of "Gorilla Rescue" and practice summarizing and find the main points of our article. Have an engaging book talk about story (Let's read to find out what happens to a group of baby gorillas when poachers are out to get their mothers) they are about to read."


4. "Now that you have read the article and you know what summarizing means we will learn the six important steps of summarizing." (Read on chart paper and give examples of each from the story).

            1. Delete unimportant information

            2. Delete repeated information.

            3. Substitute easy words for lists of items.

            4. Add a series of events with an easy action term.

            5. Select a topic.

            6. Invent a topic sentence if there is not one already.


5.Together, summarize the first paragraph using the  steps.


6. Now I want you to create your own summary with the rest of the article. "I will be walking around if you need help."


7. Assessment: To assess the students understanding of summarizing I will use the rubric form above. This will show me if students used the proper steps to correctly summarize an article.



National Geographic."Gorilla Rescue". Retrieved on April 7, 2011.


Nobles, Brittany "Super Summarizers!


Trefethern, Caroline.                 



Bradford, Schaefer. Summarizers!


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