Rationale: When students read silently they learn a lot of new information at one time. Students need comprehension strategies to understand all of the new information. Summarization is an important comprehension strategy. This lesson will teach children the how to summarize after they read a passage.
Materials: A History of Alabama, Plantation Children (fourth grade text book) by Claire Ralston published by Clairmont Press, paper, pencil, chalkboard
Procedure: 1. Start the lesson by reviewing silent reading. Remind the children that we read silently so we can have an easier time trying to comprehend what we are reading. Children when we read silently we need to make sure we understand what we are reading. When you read something silently you learn a lot of new information. Today we are going to learn a new strategy that will help you understand what you have read. The strategy we are going to learn is called summarization. Summarization is used pick out the main ideas in a passage.
2. I want all of you to turn to page eighty-two in your A History of Alabama books. I want everyone to silently read the section on plantation children. We have already read this section, but I want you to read it again to refresh your memory of what it is about. When you are done reading look up so I will know when everyone is done.
3. Now that everyone has finished reading please take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Their are many different ways to summarize, but today we are going to summarize what we have read by making a map. The map we are making is going to be about plantation children. The first thing you need to do is draw a circle in the middle of your paper. The teacher should model this on the board. In the center of your circle write plantation children. Now, stop and think about some important facts you read about plantation children. I want you to write three to five important facts you have learned. For example, you might want to say that the boys learned from their fathers and the girls learned from their mothers. You should space these facts out around your circle. If you need to you may look back at the passage. The teacher should remind the children that they need to try to pick the facts that are the most important. The teacher will also need to review the difference between important facts and non-important facts. To review this the teacher might want to say that writing down the fact that girls stay close to home is not as important as writing down that girls were not allowed to attend all the same schools boys could. After you have written down each fact you should draw a line from it to the circle.
4. The teacher should walk around the room to make sure the students are doing it right. If the teacher feels like the students did not understand then they should make their own map on the board. The teacher should erase theirs before the students copy it down on their paper.
5. After everyone has finished the teacher should ask a few students to share their maps.
6. For assessment the teacher should collect each persons paper, and read through them to make sure they understood the assignment. The teacher should also have a checklist to make sure that the students include the following: a circle with plantation children written in the middle of it, three to five important facts, and a line connecting the circle and the important fact.
Pressley, Michael. Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text. The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90, number 1. 1989.
Clanton, Ashley, CTRD 3710 Student Fall of 2000. http://www.auburn.edu/~murraba/insights/clantonrl.html
Buckner, Claire Ralston. A History of Alabama, Plantation Children. Clairmont Press. 1987.
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