Summarize the Danger!!  

Gina Campanotta

Reading to Learn  

Rationale: As children become more fluent and accurate readers, it is important to begin teaching them comprehension and recall skills. A single reading of an expository text never permits recall of all of the information in the passage, but mature readers often can remember the most important information. Summarization is an important skill to teach maturing readers. This lesson will teach students how to summarize an article by reading fast over details and reading slow over important facts. This lesson will also demonstrate how an outline of an article can help summarize as well.

 Materials: Article from Time for Kids, “Primates in Danger”(attached), paper, pencils, chalkboard, chalk

1. How many of you have read a whole article or book and when asked to explain it have a hard time remembering what it is about? The ability to say in a few words or sentences what a whole article or book is about is called summarization. Today we are going to read and summarize an article from Time For Kids.  The article is called “Primates In Danger”. 
2. I would like everyone to read this article silently to yourself. Silent reading is important because people can read at their own pace. You can read fast over trivial details and read slow over important facts. If you come across a word that you do not know what it means than stop reading and look it up in the dictionary.
3. There is a lot of information in this article. There is no way that a person can memorize everything presented in this article by reading it just a few times. It is important when summarizing to pick out the most important information presented in the article.
5. To help us summarize this article we are going to make an outline on the board with the Title and Subheadings. Show the children how to set up an outline and explain what information we want.  “Who can tell me the title?” Show them that the title goes at the top of the outline and the title is the name of the article. “Who can explain to me what a subheading is?”  Show the children that the subheading is written below the title   “What is the first subheading?” Continue writing outline on the board. Ask the children how do they think an outline can help us summarize an article? (Children respond)
6. Assessment: I would like everyone now to get out a piece of paper and a pencil. We are going to write a brief paragraph summarizing what this article is about. Remember when summarizing it is important to only focus on the main points the author is trying to make. Concentrate on writing a short and concise paragraph but do not leave out any main points.


 Pressley, M., Johnson, C. J., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J. A., & Kurity, J. A. (1989). Strategies that improve children's memory and comprehension of text. The Elementary School Journal, 90, 3-32.
Brewer, Blair.  Reading to Learn: Summarize This.
Egan, Jill. “Primates in Danger”. Time For Kids. April 12, 2005,6260,1048649,00.html

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Primates in Danger


About a quarter of the world’s primates, are at risk of becoming extinct, in the near future, a recent study says. Human activities like logging, hunting and illegal animal trade are reducing the world’s primate population.

“The situation for these primates is down to the wire in terms of extinction,” said Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International, which released the report along with the World Conservation Union and the International Primatological Society.

Animals at Risk

Fifty experts from 16 countries met in Madagascar, an island country in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, to discuss the problem. The report says that one in four of the 625 primate species and subspecies are in danger of becoming extinct.

Experts put together a list of the 25 primates that are most at risk. Some of those on the top of the list include the Eastern gorilla from parts of Africa and the Sumatran orangutan from Indonesia. Madagascar and Vietnam each have four primates on the list, while Brazil and Indonesia have three each. Other nations have one primate on the list including China, Kenya, Nigeria and Colombia.

Experts say that some of the species on the list may already be extinct, but it’s hard to know because some animals are rarely seen. The report says that the first of the African primate species to become extinct will probably be the red colobus. The red colobus has not been spotted for decades.

Can Humans Help Save Primates?

Human activities such as deforestation, hunting for meat and illegal animal trade are the biggest threats to primates. “Without immediate steps to protect these unique creatures and their habitat, we will lose more of our planet’s natural heritage forever,” Mittermeier said.

He said protected areas must be created for these animals. Asuccessful protection program in Madagascar helped remove some animals from the endangered species list is that country.

By Jill Egan