Lindsey Champine

Lesson Design

Reading to Learn

Let Me Tell You What I Know 

Rational: When children read they need to be able to pull the main information out of what they read. This is called summarizing. It is very important for a child to be able to put the most important pints of a reading into a main thought! Children will need to use the summarization method in many different situations (dealing with reading) in their lives. It helps and guides them in understanding what they have read.

 Materials: “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, paper and pencil

 Procedures:1. First I will tell students how important it is to understand what they are reading. In order to do this we use the method or strategy called summarization, which helps us to pull the most important points of something we have read into one main idea or thought.

2. I will introduce the book “Hatchet” and have my children read a passage form it. I will have the children read this passage to themselves. After they have completed the reading I will have a question-answer session only about important facts. I will also ask some questions that will be less important so the children can see how information can be different and some you remember and some you don’t. I will explain that when we summarize we remember the important information of a reading selection and that we don’t really need the less important information.

3. Next I will re-read the passage they have just read out loud. Now I will model how to summarize. I will do the summarization and then I will explain that when I did this I used rules. I will go through each summarization rule and show the children a breakdown of how I did this, that way they can see exactly how I found my information and came up with a summarization for that passage.

4. I will break students up into four groups. I will give each group the same passage to read. I will ask each group to come up with a summarization of what they read. After each group has done this I will ask the first group to give me their summarization to the class. I will have group two, three and four do the same thing. Then we will compare each summarization to see what important facts we came up with. This is time for children to practice using the rules and actually seeing how they find the information that is most important.

5. Now I will let the whole class conduct a session of questions and answers to help those who aren’t quite sure of the summarization process and those who are will just get more practice. I will do this by letting the children pick out their own passage to read as a class. After I will have volunteers ask important questions! I will also have volunteers help the class focus on using the summarization rules in this process. This will allow children to help each other learn this strategy without anyone feeling frustrated. After the class has talked about what they read I will have a volunteer write a summarization on the board as the class puts it together.

Assessment:I will have an assigned passage for each child to read silently. I will ask each child to write a summarization of what its passage was about.

 Reference:“Strategies that Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text” Pressley, Michael; Johnson, Carla J.; Symons, Sonya; McGoldrick, Jacqueline A. ; and Kurita, Janice A. The Elementary School Journal Volume 90, number 1. 1989 by University of Chicago.

Click here to return to Breakthroughs

Question? E-mail the Author