You're a Bear-y Good Reader!

Haley Thomas


Rationale: Comprehension and summarization are very important strategies for readers at any particular skill level. By the third grade, students are no longer learning to read, but reading to learn. The ability to summarize is crucial in retaining the information students read, and it is also an important motivator. When students are learning to summarize, they are learning to decide what is important and what is trivial and unimportant. In this lesson, the focus will be deleting the trivial information and focusing on the important facts to form adequate summaries.

Materials: Copies of National Geographic Brown Bears article for each child, Computer with SMARTboard capabilities, poster with summarization rules, highlighters, pencils, and paper for each student.


1.       Say: Today we are going to talk about summarization. Can anyone tell me what a summary is? [Wait for responses.] Say: Right. When we summarize, we pick out the important information and delete the unimportant information. If someone in the class is absent when we read an important passage, we don't re-read the entire passage to them. We can summarize and tell them what they missed by reciting the important details.

2.      Say: Now, let's look at the rules of summarization together and read them aloud.

a.      Delete trivial information,

b.      Delete repeated information,

c.       Select a topic, and

d.      Write a statement that includes all of the important information.

3.      Say: Now, everyone turn to the SMARTboard. We are going to read this article aloud as a class, and after we finish reading, we are going to cross out the information that is not crucial to our understanding of the story. We are going to use our highlighters to mark the important information.

As winter approaches, brown bears-often called grizzly bears-prepare for a long hibernation. During the fall, a brown bear eats practically around the clock, stocking up for the four to seven months when it'll have to live off stored body fat. A grizzly may chow down on 90 pounds (40 kilograms) of food each day.

4.      Say: What parts of this sentence are important to you? [Wait.] I agree. The time of year is important, so let's highlight that. What else? I agree, the amount the bears eat is important. What else? I also agree that what they are preparing for is called hibernation. What could we mark out? I think it is not as important that they eat "round the clock" so we could scratch that out. I also agree that it is stocking up for months and months. We kind of get that from the inference.

5.      Say: Let's draft a summary sentence of this paragraph. [Draft sentence by sharing details students find important.

                        In the fall, grizzly bears eat 90 pounds a say to prepare for winter's hibernation.

Say: Does this sentence include all of the important information out of the paragraph? Yes it does. It is a good summary sentence for this paragraph about Grizzlies.

6.      Have students return to their seats. Say: Now we will all continue this article, but this time I want you to summarize and find the important information on your own. I want you to use our strategies of highlighting what is important and marking out what is not. Once you have done this, I want you to write a topic sentence that includes the main parts of this article.

7.      Students will be assessed based on the following checklist:

Did the student…



…delete unnecessary information from the passage?



…highlight the important information from the passage?



…draft one topic sentence that includes all important information, with no trivial information?



…demonstrate comprehension through a cohesive, detailed topic sentence?



Answer these questions:

1.       Why do grizzlies hibernate?



2.      How much do they eat during this time of preparation?




If no is marked in any of the rows, the student will be given back the article and their work to correct their mistakes.



"Brown Bears" Article:


Thomas, Lauren: Whale, Aren't You Good At Reading!:

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