Mary Ann Harbour
Reading to Learn Design


Summarizing and Mapping for Comprehension

Rationale: As students start to read more and more, it is important that they comprehend what they are reading. Students must develop comprehension strategies to apply. One important comprehension strategy is summarization. Another part of summarization that is important is mapping. I will show the children how to make concept maps by using the comprehension skills they are learning. 

Materials:  California History for Children,  publisher James Stevenson, Chapter Five “Pioneers in California”(4th grade book), notebook paper, pencil. 

1. “Class today we are going to open up our book on the history of California. Please open it to Chapter 5. We are going to be reading about the Donner Party. This is a group of people that were exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains and ran into some problems.”
2. “Does anyone know what a topic sentence is? It is the sentence that is usually first, but could be in any place in the paragraph. It usually talks about many things and looks at the big picture. Sometimes it talks about more than one thing.  It is usually supported by main ideas. We will be looking at main ideas in Chapter 5 to learn how to summarize.
3. “Does everyone remember how to read silently? It is reading with your eyes and not with your mouth. Now, we will all read Chapter 5 silently. When you are done reading, look at me so I will be able to tell when everyone is finished.”
4. “Now that everyone is finished reading, please take out some notebook paper and a pencil. We are going to make a summary map of what we read in Chapter 5. This just means that we are going to write down the really important facts we learned in this chapter. We will do this by looking for topic sentences and other important facts from our reading.  Everyone needs to write the words Donner Party in the middle of your page. Now, think about the important details that you read in your chapter. You can look back at the chapter if you wish, and write 5-7 facts that are important in small circles around Donner Party.” I will be modeling this on the board at the same time so the children will have an example to follow. I will show the children how I found my facts for my concept map. I will read several facts and ask the children to guess which ones are the most important ones. Then, I will put those on the board in the model concept map. 

5. When everyone finishes and I have walked around and looked at everyone’s, we will all have a group talk time where we will tell what each person thought were important facts in the chapter. Some students will be called upon to go to the board and map out what they had on their papers.
6. For assessment I will take up the maps that the students did. I will look at each one and see if the children really grasped the concept of summarization. 

- (California History for Children  book)
-Pressley, Michael. “Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text.” The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90, number 1. 1989.
 -Ashley Clanton “Mapping out the Story” 

Click here to return to Breakthroughs

If you have any questions, email me:o)