Ellen Spinks
Reading To Learn

So, What’s It All About?

RATIONALE:  When students read silently, they are learning a lot of information on the subject at the same time.  It may sometimes be difficult for them to understand what they are reading.  This is why comprehension skills are so important for students to learn.  One strategy that is very important is summarization.  In this lesson, students will learn how to summarize after a passage has been read.

· The book, The Watson’s Go to Birmingham-1963 by Chirstopher Paul Curtis
· Paper
· Pencil
· Chalk, chalkboard

1. I will first tell the class what I have in store for them today. “Good morning class, today we are going to practice some of our reading strategies.  “When we read silently, we can read fast through the unimportant parts but slow down to read the parts that are really important.” We have been learning to read silently, which is when you read to yourself.  When we do this, we are learning a lot of information at one time.  It is sometimes difficult for us to pick out the main idea.  Hopefully after today’s lesson, we will able to do this more accurately.  The technique that we are going to use is called summarization.  This is basically when you pick out the main idea in a passage.”

2. I will first have everyone turn to page 47 in the book, The Watson’s Go to Birmingham.  “Class, I would like for all of you to take out your chapter books and turn to chapter four.  I know that we have already read this chapter but I want us to re-read it to refresh our memory.  When have finished, look up so I will know when to move on.”

3. “Now that everyone is done reading the chapter, I want all of you to take out a piece of paper.  There are many ways in which we can summarize what we have read but today I want us all to use a technique called mapping.  The map that we are going to make is going to be about the “southern folks” that the author talks about in the book.”  I will model a map outline on the chalkboard as the students use their paper.  “ The first thing that you should do is draw a circle in the middle of your paper, and write “southern folks” in it.  From the circle you should draw a branch for each fact that you know about the chapter and write it at the end of the branch. I want everyone to write three to five important facts that you have learned.  If you are having trouble coming up with facts, you may look back at the chapter for help.  Remember, you need to pick out the most important facts.” At this time, the teacher should review the difference between important facts and unimportant facts.  You should use examples from the book.

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.

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