SUMthing Super
Reading To Learn Lesson

By: Magen Campbell


Rational: The most important goal of reading is comprehension. Once students have become fluently readers, they need to move to the next goal or reading; reading to learn. One strategy that allows one to reach this goal is summarization. Summarization is the process of identifying and recalling main ideas. The purpose of this lesson will be to have to students summarize a given passage by asking themselves questions and learning the effective steps of summarization. Students will use the following rules: cross out information that does not necessarily matter, reduce parts of text into fewer words, and choose a topic sentence.


(25) or one for each student: Summarization Tips Bookmark (Click here for copies)

(25-50) or one for each student: Sheets of Line Paper

(25) or one for each student: Highlighters

(25) or one for each student: Pencils

(25) or one for each student: Copy of Honey Bee Article

(1) Document Camera



1.     Say: Today we are going to learn a new strategy to make us even better readers! Can anyone think of reason why we read? Allow students time to think of answers. Yes, we read to hear stories or learn about new information. Today, we are going to focus on comprehending what we read. Does anyone know what that means? Comprehending means to understand what we are reading. In order for us to really understand what we are reading we need to be able to summarize what we read.

2.     Does anyone know what summarize means? Summarize means to put together all the important information about what you are reading from an article, text, or passage. When we summarize information we are looking for the most important information and deleting information that is not helpful.

3.     Say: So when we summarize information we are going to use some useful steps that will give us a good strategy to figure out just what we are reading about. I am going to talk to you today about this strategy, we are going to practice this together, and then I am going to let you try it on your own!

4.     When we are summarizing the first thing we want to do is delete any information that is not important. So, when we go about doing this we are going to look for information that is important and information that does not mean a lot we will cross out. The second thing that we want to do is to look over all the thing we have found to be important. We want to reread them and make sure we have not missed any other important details. The third thing we will do is to come up with a topic sentence that covers the whole text we have just read. You will need to ask students if they understand. Explain any part of the strategy the may no understand. Ask them: Do you understand the steps that we must take? What is the first step? Second? Third?

5.     Say: Now that we have learned about the steps we must take to become super summarizers! We need to be super summarizers! I want you to remember all the steps we just talked about.( show the steps by writing them on the board or showing on a smart board or ELMO.) We are going to follow these steps as we work as a class to summarize the article Honeybee Mystery.

6.     The teacher needs to introduce the article. Say: The article that is just passed out to you is called Honeybee Mystery. The article gives the readers information about what honeybees to help us have clean food. The article explores the problems that might be harming these every so important insects? What do bees do to help us? What could be affecting the bees in this area? Why is it so hard to get information about bees? We will have to read this article to find out! Our vocabulary for this article is pollinate (The transfer of pollen from the place to another) and bee colonies (A hive or area of bees that work together to pollinate plants and make honey).

7.     Say, "We are going to start by reading the whole passage. Don't mark on your paper yet. I'm going to show you exactly what to do after we read." After we read the article pose the question: "How would I summarize the first paragraph? As I reread the first paragraph aloud, look at the document on the board and read silently to yourselves, and watch as I cross out unimportant information and then underline the important details."

8.     Read the article to the class. Then go back to the first paragraph and have a student read it out loud. Model how to summarize the first paragraph using the overhead, ELMO, or Smart board.

All across the United States, honeybees are flying away from their hives and dying. Empty hives are causing a lot of worry about some important food crops.

Bees give us a lot more than delicious honey. They are pollinatorsthey enable plants to produce the fruits and nuts we enjoy by carrying pollen from one plant or flower to the next. The wind pollinates oats, corn, and wheat, but many other plants (like apple and cherry trees and melon vines) depend on insects, bats, and birds.

9.     So, We read the article. Now we are going to go through it and highlight the important stuff and then cross out the information we do not need. Now that we have done this lets try to come up with a summary for these first two paragraphs. What step do we need to do next? Right, we need to come up with a topic sentence. Can anyone think of topic sentence? All across the United States honeybees are dying and it is causing people to worry about crops. Now we can put the rest of the important information into our summary. Does someone want to give it a shot? Okay, yes People are worrying because honey bees pollinate a lot of plants These plants depend on insects pollination and if bees are dying some important crops are not getting what they need. Say: Very good. We all need to right this summary down. Write the topic sentence and summary on the board for students to copy in their journal.

10. Have students practice summarizing the rest of the article on their own.



1. Now it is your turn to practice the summarization strategies we have learn today. You are going to use these strategies to summarize the rest of the Honeybee Mystery article I am passing out to you. I want you to remember the steps that will make you successful in comprehending what you read. First you need to find topic sentence. What is next? Right, you need to find the important facts of the passage. Next what do you need to do? Yes, get rid of the information that is not very useful. Finally, you need to delete the repeated ideas found within the passage. The teacher will need to pass out a copy of the article to each student. Have the students use the highlighter to highlight key information. Make sure they use the their pencil to cross out information that is not an asset to the summary. Then students will then compose a summary of the passage that is four to five sentences. The teacher can assess each summary by using the assessment checklist. Make sure the summary includes a topic sentence and important information from the article. Have students attach the article they marked on to also assess if they were using the summarization strategies learned in the lesson while reading the article.


2. When most of the class has completed the assignment, I will begin to call students one at a time to my desk and have them read their summaries to me.  I will go through the assessment checklist while the students read their summary.  When they are finished, I will go over how they did/what they need to fix.

3. The teacher can bring the lesson to a close by asking students questions to informally assess what the have learned. Ask: "What does it mean to summarize a text?" "What are a four summarizations tips?" "Why is it important to summarize a text?"

4. After students complete summaries go over comprehension questions as a class.


Assessment Checklist:

Students Name: _______________________________________ Date: ___________________

Yes     No     

_____   _____   Picked out the most important information

_____   _____   Deleted unnecessary information

_____   _____   Understood the information from the text/article/passage

_____   _____   Wrote a sentence(s) summarizing the most important parts of text


Comprehension Questions:

What point did the author make in this passage? (putting it together)

      2.     Where are bees found and why do you think they are found there? (writer and me)
Why are the bee’s so important and how do they help with the food we eat? (writer and me)
What kinds of questions are these? A: Putting it together, writer and me, writer and me.




Adams, Kelly. Becoming Skilled Summarizers, Reading to Learn.


Hall, Meg. Summarizing is Super, Reading to Learn.


Honey Bee Article. National Geographic Kids. Catherine Clarke Fox.


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