Rockin' Map Summaries



Reading to Learn


Nicole Pender


Rationale: During the process of becoming a more skillful reader, it is important that students comprehend what they are reading. They must develop comprehension strategies to apply. A very important comprehension strategy is summarization. Mapping is an important part of summarization. The children will make concept maps by using the comprehension skills they are learning. 


Materials: Science publisher: Addison Wesley Pub. Co., 1989, Barman, Charles, Ed. D. Et al; Chapter Nine Rocks and Minerals (4th grade book) one for each student

~ notebook paper for each student

~ pencil for each student


1.       Today we are going to be using our Science book.  We are going to be read from chapter nine on rocks and minerals.  There are a lot of interesting and useful facts about rocks and minerals.  I will be using this chapter to assist us in learning how to summarize a passage.  Along with learning this new comprehension strategy, they will be learn from a chapter in science.

2.       Who can tell me what a topic sentence is? Good, it is the sentence that may be first, but could be in any place in the paragraph. It usually talks about many things and looks at the big picture. Sometimes it talks about more than one thing.  It is usually supported by main ideas. We will be looking at main ideas in chapter nine to learn how to summarize.

3.       What does reading silently mean?  It is reading with your eyes and not with your mouth.  I will model a good silent reader by taking my book and reading a sentence to myself.  Chapter nine is about rocks and minerals.  You will read about different types of rocks and minerals and what they are used for.  Now, we will all read chapter nine silently.  Keep in mind how good silent readers read.  When you are done reading, take out some notebook paper and a pencil and look at me so I will be able to tell when everyone is finished.

4.       We are going to make a summary map of what we read in chapter nine. Making a summary map means that we are going to write down the really important facts we learned in this chapter.  We will do this by looking for topic sentences and other important facts from our reading.  Write the words Rocks and Minerals in the middle of your page.  Think about and skim over the chapter to find the important details that were there.  Write five to seven facts that are important in small circles around your main words Rocks and Minerals.   I will model this on the board for the students to have an example to follow. I will have Rocks and Minerals written in the middle with several circles ready to be filled in.  I will model looking through the book to find facts for my concept map.  I will read several facts and show the students my thinking on distinguishing between important and unimportant facts. I will tell them what I think makes certain facts more important than the other.  Then, I will put those on the board in the circles of my concept map. 

5.       After I have given the group a reasonable amount of time to finish and I have walked around and looked at everyone‚s concept map, I will pair them up to have a talk time where they will share their most important facts found in the chapter. They will use the two maps to form one compiled of each persons‚ ideas.  After the pairs have combined their maps with five to seven ideas, each partner group will share them.  Volunteer partners will be asked to go to the board and map out what they had on their papers.

6.       In order to assess their abilities, I will take up the maps that the students did.  I will also pass out a worksheet with a few questions about making a summarization maps on it and have them answer them.  I will look at each one to see if the children really understood the concept of summarization. 


~ -Pressley, (Addison-Wesley Science book)

~ Mary Ann Harbour „Summarizing and Mapping for Comprehensionš


~Pressley, Michael; Johnson, Carla J.; Symons, Sonya; McGoldrick, Jacqueline A.; Kurita, Janice A.  Strategies That Improve Children‚s Memory and Comprehension of Text.  The Elementary School Journal Volume 90, Number1.  The University of Chicago, 1989.


Click here to return to Connections.