It’s ALL Good!
by Mark Mathews
Our students cannot be expected to comprehend full texts without the right tools for the job. The tool this lesson brings to light is summarization. When readers have the ability to identify what information is important and what information is not those readers are getting the bigger picture.
an article found through National Geographic
Explorer, an online magazine for children.
board or dry-erase board
5. chalk or dry-erase markers
Why ] “Today we’re going to talk about how fluent readers can
information. When I say that fluent
readers summarize I mean that they have learned to recognize and
most important things about passages from text.
If you can learn to pick out the most important information and
the rest behind you will become better readers.”
] “Remember, there are four steps to summarization:  Find the main
most important information from the passage.
 Leave unimportant information behind. 
Make sure to highlight key words in your
mind from important information.  Use
your key words to sum up the idea of the
passage in one sentence. These four
steps make up the idea of summarization.”
How ] “When I say that you need to
notice the most important parts of a passage, I usually mean getting
information that answers: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? You must be careful though, sometimes names
and places get tossed into passages but the main idea doesn’t involve
them. The more we read and the more we
practice the easier it will be to recognize what information is
what information isn’t. A quick example
of picking out important information and discarding unimportant
with multiple names is like when someone is telling you a story and the
idea is this: Bob hit his thumb with a hammer.
But the person says it like this: “Did you here about Fred’s
Joe’s friend Gary’s cousin Lilly’s boyfriend Bob hitting his thumb with
hammer?” You see how not every name in
that passage was important?”
] “I’ll give you another example with some
step by step work with a passage from the article we get to read today
… “While it's easy to understand gas
pressure (as gas is
heated it expands, increasing pressure, and as it cools, it contracts,
decreasing pressure), magnetic
pressure may be
a tougher concept to grasp. David Dearborn explains, "If you take those
places where there are concentrations of magnetic field and put them together, they have pressure of their
own. You can feel magnetic
you take two magnets and take the ends of the same polarity
and try to put them together. The just don't quite want to go together.
magnetic pressure." I would sum
this up with a single sentence: Magnetic fields
have their own pressure and can be seen when two magnet ends of the
are pushed close to one another to show the magnetic pressure.
5. [ Simple
Practice ] “Lets all practice our summarization skills with the
paragraph of the passage we’re reading today from the National
Explorer webpage. Remember we are reading
silently to not distract one another.
Focus on what you’re doing and not what others are doing.”
] Read Sunspots: Modern Research
silently as a class.
7. [ Assessment ] While the students read have them use pencil and paper to write out key words and important information for each paragraph they read, then have them find the most important information and key words for the article from the key ideas and terms they found from individual paragraphs. From their work assess whether or not they have grasped concepts of keywords, and discarding unimportant information.