Letís Summarize

Rationale:  As students begin to read text that is vital to completing the grade, they need to learn how to summarize.  This lesson will teach students the method of summarizing by giving examples and modeling.

Materials: Current level textbook on any subject, paper and pencils.

1. Today we are going to learn how to summarize a text.  Sometimes when we read in our textbooks it is easier to remember what we have read if we can summarize the information.  Iím going to show you an easy way to do this.

2. Letís first review how we silently read.  Remember we look at the sentence from left to right.  We follow along with our finger if we need to.  Most importantly we do not make any sounds and keep our lips from moving.  Letís all practice, turn to chapter 2 in textbook [show page to class] and read this first paragraph silently.  When finished please look up at me.  Great! Have several of the students to read out loud the text they just read silently.

3. When we read the first paragraph we need to think of a topic sentence.  The topic sentence will be one sentence that sums up what the text is going to be about.  [Show an example]

4. The first thing we need to realize when we are summarizing is we do not need to write down all the information.  The key to this is just write down the important facts.  This is not going to be easy at first but it becomes easier.  As you read think if what you read sounds really important.  Things that you might want to write down would be words in bold print or italicize print [find and example of each and point out to class].  We would need to write down this word and what is important about it.

5. Also remember to write a summary of what read in your own words.  This will help you to make sure if you actually understand what it is that you just read.  Also you will be able to understand the text better if you have rewritten what the author wrote.

6. Students will read Chapter one of a textbook and complete a summary of what they read.  I will collect the papers and give guidance on what was correct and make suggestions on what needs improvement.

Pressley, M. (1989). Strategies That Improve Childrenís Memory and Comprehension of Text. University of Chicago: The Elementary School Journal (pp. 3-31).

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Jaclyn Mitchell