Summing It Up the Cool Way


Marcy Price

 Rationale: Comprehension is the main goal in reading. Summarization is a great strategy to use to help aid in comprehension. Summarization is when you gather all the main ideas from what you have read and combine them to get an overall thought on the text. To teach summarization the teacher must model this skill. The lesson activities will help because the students will learn how to decide what is important in a text, article, etc. The students should delete trivial information, delete repetitive information, and they should create a topic sentence and highlight the important details.

Materials: Highlighters (enough for each student), article for modeling (iceberg article), copies of the article to pass out to each student, large sheet of post-it paper, assessment article for each student (the zoo article), assessment checklist, pencils



1.Today we are going to talk about summarizing. Summarizing is when you read something like an article and you gather all the main points to form one overall idea. This is a great strategy to use to help you remember what you have read.

2.Discuss the rules for summarization. There are three rules for summarization: 1.Deleting trivial and repeated information, create a topic sentence, and highlight the important information. Write these on a large sheet of post-it paper to display. Now have the students read the article from the transparency.  Before reading the article the students need to learn a few vocabulary words. Calving(when a glacier breaks apart in the ocean creating ice-bergs), glacier(huge piece of ice that moves slowly over land), treacherous(very dangerous), menagerie (collection of animals). After you finish reading we are going to summarize the paragraph together.

3.Show the article on the projector and pass out copies of the article to each student. Build background knowledge about icebergs to build the students interest. “Has anyone ever seen an iceberg? Has anyone ever heard of the Titanic? Where do you find icebergs?” Let’s read to find out more about icebergs and see what other interesting facts we can find. Read your article silently as I read mine aloud. Now let’s cross out the trivial or repeated information and let’s use our highlighters to highlight the important information. I will do the first paragraph as you watch and then you can join in and we will do it together. If I cross out something that means it is trivial or has been repeated

4.“Icebergs are large chunks of ice that break off from glaciers. This process is called calving. Icebergs float in the ocean, but are made of frozen fresh water, not salt water. Most icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere break off from glaciers in Greenland. Sometimes they drift south with currents into the North Atlantic Ocean. Icebergs also calve from glaciers in Alaska.In the Southern Hemisphere, almost all icebergs calve from the continent of Antarctica. Icebergs can be huge. Some icebergs near Antarctica can be as big as Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.”


Summary: Icebergs are large chunks of ice in the ocean that calve, or break off, from glaciers.

6.Now you are going to summarize by yourself. Booktalk: The article is about zoos. You will learn about how zoos originated, the different kinds of zoos, and much more. Pass out the assessment article to each of the students for them to summarize individually. The students will be instructed to use their highlighters and to mark out unimportant facts and details. Once they have marked and highlighted they will be instructed to create a summary of 2-3 sentences. They will turn in both sheets. This will be their assessment.

Assessment: I will assess them on their summary they did individually. They will be graded using the summarization checklist

Did the Student…



Get rid of unimportant information?



Get rid of repeated information?



Organize items under one umbrella term?



Select a topic?



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







Vocabulary Review Instruction:

Let’s look at what the word menagerie means. A menagerie is a collection of wild or unusual animals. These animals are usually kept for exhibition, or to be shown off. If you have many pet dogs at your house you do not have a menagerie because they are not unusual. A menagerie is when you have many kinds of exotic or wild animals.

Use: I saw a menagerie of wild creatures today. My boss keeps a menagerie of zebras and giraffes in his backyard.

Which one of these is closest to a menagerie: Dogs and chickens? or Elephants, peacocks, and flying monkeys? 

Finish the sentence: I went outside and saw a menagerie of…

Possible completion: …zebras and kangaroos running through the road.



National Geographic. Iceberg

National Geographic. Zoo

Davee, Lauren. Diving with Dolphins into Summarization




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