Lets Sum It Up!

Reading to Learn Design

By: Lauren Ogle


Rationale: The goal for this lesson is to teach the students how to summarize a reading passage.  Summarization is one of the most important ideas that everyone learns and uses every day.  In fact students will learn how to identify the main idea from the text through a reader’s practice to help build a strong comprehension foundation by lesson.



        Copies of the short story/reading passage Polar Bears: Facts about Polar Bears from National Geographic Kids

        Copies of the question sheet for students to complete after they have read the Polar Bears: Facts about Polar Bears short story

        Copies of the summary assignment for the students to use to summarize the short story. (This assignment will be the assessment.)





1.     The teacher should have the short story, question sheet, and summary assessment displayed on the board for the students to refer to later during the lesson.

2.     First, I will review silent reading procedures to the students. “Can anyone tell me these steps we use from reading aloud to reading quietly to ourselves?” You are correct! We always start by reading the first paragraph out loud. Next, will read the second paragraph in are really low whisper voices. Then, we will on mouth the third paragraph as we read, which means to pretend to say the words out loud without anyone hearing you. Finally, you will read the rest of the short story in complete silence.

3.     Now I will introduce the importance of summarization. “We are going to talk about a huge part of reading. This is something that all readers must do. Does anyone know what the word “summarize” mean?  Summarize is a verb, that means to find the most important part of the text. Readers must find the most important part of the text to understand the text.”

4.    Say: Now,  I want everyone read the short story, silently.

5.     Explain how to identify the important details and how to complete the question sheet. First, I will show a picture of the short story and then I will say “Students what do you think the main idea was of this short story?”  Next, I will have the students to use their highlighters and as they reread the story silently while highlighting the important facts. Then, I will have the students discuss the important facts that they found, and then they will fill out the question sheet that will allow the students to reread the short story and fill-in the correct answers that relates to short story. After the students finish this assignment we will be able to identify the main idea of the short story.

6.     Model how to fill in the question sheet.  “Okay, everyone has reread the short story and now it’s time to move on. Everyone look at the board, and I am going to direct you on how to fill-in the question sheet. As you can see, the questions want to know specific details that come from the short story. I want you all to look at the first question Which polar bears do not head out to the ice to fish?. Does anyone know the correct answer? That’s right! Pregnant polar bears. Now for each question you will need search for the correct answer and record the correct answer onto the question sheet.”

7.     Summary. Say: “Since everyone has completed the question sheet, I want you to all look at the summary assessment sheet. The directions state to write a summary of the short story, Polar Bears: Facts about Polar Bears. Remember to include the main idea and be specific in your summary of the short story. You will have fifteen minutes to complete the summary.” (During this time I am going to monitor the students to see how well they are able to summarize the short story.)


I will have the students write a summary from the short story, Polar Bears: Facts about Polar Bears. After the students turn in the summary, I will grade them on how specific their summaries were and if they included the main idea.



"Polar Bears." Polar Bear: Photos, Video, Facts, E-card, Map. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. <http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/sites/kids/NGS/wpf/printcreature/polar-bear.html>.

"Summing Up with." Auburn University. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/doorways/woodcrl.htm>.





Question Sheet (Questions):


1.   Which polar bears do not head out to the ice to fish?______________________________

2.   Why do you think these polar bears do not fish? _________________________________________________________

3.   What do polar bears eat? ______________________________

4.   What are dens?_______________________________________________________

5.   Why do mother polar bears make dens? __________________________________________________



Summary Assessment:


Directions: I want you write a summary about the short story, Polar Bears: Facts about Polar Bears. Be sure to be specific, use details, and do not forget to include the main idea of the short story.








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