Shorten the Length


Dorsey Tippett

Reading to Learn

 

 

Rational:  The goal of reading is the ability to comprehend the text.  Many strategies exist that provide the students the means to become independent readers.  One strategy that helps children is the ability to summarize text.  Students will learn how to summarize by deleting trivial information, deleting redundant information, substituting subordinate terms for a list of items, and creating a topic sentence.

 

Materials:

Dry erase board with markers, paper, pencils, copies for each student of “Snow Babies” and “Lightning”, and summarization rubric:
                  1.     
Delete unimportant information:  yes or no

2.      Delete repeated information:  yes or no

3.      Substitute easy terms for lists of items:  yes or no 

4.      Add a series of events with an easy action term:  yes or no

5.      Select a topic:  yes or no

                  6.      Invent a topic sentence if there is none:  yes or no

 

 

Procedures:

1)      Start the lesson by reviewing with the students how to read silently.  "First I would like to review how we read silently.  Let me show how to do this.”  The teacher should model how she reads silently by having her eyes move along the page and even silently pronouncing words while also demonstrating the change of pace in reading more fluently.  “I will read the first paragraph to myself and then I will pass out the article and have you read silently.  Remember I want to see everyone’s eyes moving along the page.”  Before you pass the article out introduce the article, “Snow Babies.”  “What do think this article is going to be talking about, snow babies?  Well, this article is about polar babies and the warmth they need from their mother 24/7." 

2)      “Everyone is doing such a great job reading silently!  Now I want you to tell me what is means to summarize.”  Direct the children in the right the direction with the answers they give.  “When you summarize a story you try to get the main idea across.  You want to write down a few sentences that tell the story.  Well, there are six steps that will help you when you summarize a story.”  Write on the board the six steps for summarization.

1.      Delete unimportant information

2.      Delete repeated information

3.      Substitute easy terms for lists of items 

4.      Add a series of events with an easy action term

5.      Select a topic

6.      Invent a topic sentence if there is none

3)      Put the class in groups.  “One thing that will help you summarize is to draw a map.  You put the main idea in the middle square and then the supporting details around it.  This reminds me a wheel with the hubcap in the middle and spokes coming out of it.”  Demonstrate this on the board as you are telling them what to do.  “Now, I want you to use the six steps we talked about earlier and make a map of our article.” Put the map on the board.  “What would the middle circle be?  The main idea.  Good!  Okay, what is the main idea of the story?  Polar bears(snow babies).  Great!  Now, we will draw spokes coming from the circle that describe something about the polar bear.  What are some important ideas about the polar bears?  As newborns polar bears are the same as a loaf of bread, have no teeth, fur is not thick, eyes are closed, need mother’s warmth 24/7.  These are great ideas!  Remember to always come up with ideas that support the main idea, which here is polar bears, and continue to draw lines from the main idea.  Give the students some time to think on their own of some more details.  Tell them after they finish the web that if they make these ideas into complete sentences then that will be their summary.  “Remember you should always have a topic sentence.  This topic lets the reader know the what the main idea of the story.  The other ideas support the topic.”  Make sure students have a summary of the text.

4)      Hand out the article, Lightning.  Tell the students to make a summarization map from the article and then write a summarization paragraph using their map.  Check each student’s summary and map to see if they are using the six steps correctly.  Use the six steps as guidelines as to whether they completed the assignment:

1.      Delete unimportant information:  yes or no

2.      Delete repeated information:  yes or no

3.      Substitute easy terms for lists of items:  yes or no 

4.      Add a series of events with an easy action term:  yes or no

5.      Select a topic:  yes or no

6.      Invent a topic sentence if there is none:  yes or no

 

References:

Pressley, M. Johnson, CJ Symons, McGoldrick, JA.  (1989)  Strategies that Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text.  “The Elementary School Journal.” 90, 3-32.

Musgrave, Ruth.  “Snow Babies.”  National Geographic New Online.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/ws_archive_main.html

 

Skelton, Renee.  “Lightning.”  National Geographic New Online.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/ws_archive_main.html

 

 To Sum It All Up by Emily Wheeler. Spring 2004. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/wheelerrl.html

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