Wanted: Only the Facts!
Reading to Learn Design
Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading
instruction, however, this task is complicated and requires practice. There are various strategies that can be
used to gain meaning and knowledge from a text. One
strategy is summarization.
To be able to read and recall information from an expository
children need direct instruction in how to appropriately summarize
material. There are three steps to
summarizing successfully; delete trivial and redundant material,
superordinate terms with a list or action term, and finally invent a
sentence. By implementing these skills
students will be better prepared to recall and discuss information from
Article: Bear Mail (1 copy per student,
and one printed on a transparency), Article: Lightning: The Deadly
(1 copy per student), post-it squares (1 per student), highlighter (1
student), paper, pencil, rubric/checklist for summary, overhead,
markers, chalk board, chalk
- Review the purpose of reading. I AM GOING TO PASS OUT AN ARTICLE ENTITLED BEAR
MAIL TO EACH OF YOU; DO NOT BEGIN READING IT JUST YET!
FIRST, WHY DO WE READ ARTICLES FROM PUBLICATIONS LIKE THE
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC? Desired response: to
learn new information. THAT IS RIGHT WE
READ TO LEARN NEW THINGS, THEY MAY BE THINGS THAT INTEREST US OR THEY
MAY BE THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT, LIKE A READING IN OUR HISTORY BOOK. IN EITHER CASE WE READ A LARGE CHUNK OF
MATERIAL THAT CONTAINS A LOT OF FACTS. DO
YOU THINK ALL THE INFORMATION IN AN ARTICLE IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT, OR DO
YOU THINK SOME INFORMATION IS MORE RELEVANT THAN ANOTHER?
Desired response: no it is not all equal, in some cases we
need to remember a general idea or person, or event.
THAT IS RIGHT, WE DO NOT NEED TO REMEMBER ALL OF LITTLE
DETAILS IN A READING. WE NEED TO REMEMBER
THINGS THAT SEEM MOST IMPORTANT IN A READING, AND WE CAN TELL OTHERS
WHAT THOSE BITS OF INFORMATION ARE BY SUMMARIZING.
- Model silent reading, REMEMBER WHEN WE
READ SILENTLY OUR EYES MOVE INTENTLY ACROSS THE PAGE AND WE READ
QUIETLY TO OURSELVES. WE CAN MOVE OUR
MOUTHES, BUT NO SOUNDS COME OUT.
- AS WE READ SILENTLY I WANT YOU TO USE
YOUR HIGHLIGHTER AS A TOOL TO MARK THE MAIN IDEAS IN THE TEXT. THERE ARE THREE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN
LOOKING FOR THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN A BODY OF TEXT.
1. DELETE OR IGNORE TRIVIAL OR REDUNDANT INFORMATION, 2.
REPLACE SUPERORDINATE TERMS WITH ACTION TERMS OR A LIST, AND FINALLY,
3. DEVELOP A TOPIC SENTENCE OR MAIN IDEA. List these steps on the board
so that all students can refer to them while reading.
- I WANT YOU
ALL TO LOOK AT THIS ARTICLE AND READ IT SILENTLY TO YOURSELF, AND I AM
GOING TO DO THE SAME. REMEMBER TO USE YOUR
HIGHLIGHTER AND FOLLOW THE RULES FOR SUMMARIZATION.
While the students are reading, work on the same reading and
underline important information on overhead.
- Once all students have finished
reading compare teachers marks with students highlights, discuss
similarities and differences.
- Pass out article: Lightning: The
Deadly Truth, and give each student one post-it. I
AM GOING TO PASS YOU ALL OUT ANOTHER ARTICLE, THIS ONE IS A BIT LONGER,
BUT I WANT YOU TO USE THE SAME STRATEGIES FOR SUMMARIZATION THAT WE
JUST PRACTICED. THIS TIME I AM ALSO GOING
TO GIVE EACH OF YOU 1 POST-IT AND I WANT YOU TO USE THIS TO WRITE YOUR
TOPIC SENTENCE ON. YOUR TOPIC SENTENCE
SHOULD BE NO LONGER THAN WHAT COULD FIT ON THIS SQUARE.
Review summarization strategies as written on board. REMEMBER TO READ SILENTLY TO YOURSELF, AND USE THE HIGHLIGHTER TO IDENTIFY THE MOST
IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THE ARTICLE.
- Have the students take out a pencil
and piece of paper and summarize the reading in about 5 sentences. Walk around the room and assist if necessary.
- Collect articles with highlighted
marks, post-its and summary paragraph for assessment.
Anderson, Jenny. Summarization
Pressley, M., C.J. Johnson, S.
Symons, J.A. McGoldrick, and J.A. Kurity. (1989).
that Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text. The
School Journal, 90, 3-32.
Roach, John. Lightning: The Deadly Truth.
Geographic News Online
Emily. Bear Mail.
National Geographic News Online at
Emily. To Sum it all Up. . . at
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