By: Emily Barberini
Comprehension is one of the most important and essential aspects of
Summarization is a great strategy for children to learn comprehension. This lesson will introduce students
summarization through what we will call the 5 steps to
Initially, students will learn the steps as a
class and then have a chance to summarize individually.
• Class copies
of National Geographic
Kids article: Bears and
People: Learning to Live
• Class copies
of National Geographic
Kids article: Elephant Camp
• Paper and
• White board
the lesson by asking students, “Who thinks they can tell me what the
‘comprehension’ means? Very good! Comprehension is when we understand what we
are reading. Sometimes, we try and read
a book so fast that we forget to pay attention to what the story is all
about. Today we are going to learn a new
strategy, or helpful hint, that will help us with comprehension. The strategy we are going to talk about today
is kind of a big word, but many of you may have already heard it. This strategy is called summarization. Who thinks they know what this word
means? Very good! Summarization
is when we ‘sum up’ or give the
important details from a story. Using
this strategy will help us to eliminate the less important information
us remember what is important so that we can ‘comprehend’ what we are
"There are five main steps that we are going to talk about that will
help us rememver our new strategy of summarization." [Write steps
on board for students to see]
Pick out important details that are
necessary to the story.
Point out and remove less important
Choose keywords to help remember the
Put keywords in order of when they
occurred in the story.
Put all important details and keywords
into one main topic sentence.
and girls, now that we have talked about our strategy I think we are
see how it works!” I want you to read
the first passage, Elephant Camp,
silently to yourselves and then we will use our new strategy to
we have just read. Remember to be paying
attention to the details as you read Elephant
Camp, don’t just read it quickly to get done.”
children finish reading, work together as a class to model using the
strategy. “We are going to use the 5 steps to summarization that we just
learned. Give the students an example of
an important fact to get them thinking in the right direction. Now, who can tell me one main fact that they
remember from the article? Very good!”
[List facts given by students on one side of the board]
Be sure to model facts for the students to
prompt their thinking. Modeling: [Fact: Elephants in India
will be going to camp.] “Now we are
going to move on to step #2, who can tell me what details of this story
important to the main topic? Very
good!” [List facts given by students on
one side of the board] Continue to model
for students. Modeling: [Unimportant
information: The name of the exact city, remembering the country will
enough.] Continue with step #3. “Let’s try and think of keywords that will
help us remember about this article.
[List keywords on board]
Modeling: [Keywords: Elephants, working, camp, rest] Very good boys and girls!
Only two more steps to go. Step #4,
let’s organize our keywords. We will put
the keywords in order by when
they were mentioned in the article.
Modeling: [List keywords on board in chronological order] Now it’s time for our last step, step
#5. We are going to try and combine all
of these important details and keywords that we have written on the
[point to the several lists that have been made on the board]. Encourage students that there is not a right
and wrong answer. There are several
possibilities for topic sentences; all children do not have to have the
one. Model this heavily so that they can
see how to leave out information that might not be as relevant and some
other stuff. It may be necessary for the
teacher to suggest a topic sentence.
gone through the 5 steps to summarization
and I hope you all understand how to use each of these steps. I am going to give you another article and I
want you to practice using those summarization skills to summarize this
article. The article is called, Bears
and People: Learning to Live Together. Read the article to
yourselves. Keep in mind the things we
talked about. I am going to leave the 5 steps to summarization on the board
for you to look at in case you forget what you are looking for when you
When the children begin to finish their
article instruct them to get out paper and pencil to begin writing down
responses to each of the 5 steps like we did as a class.
“I want you to go back through the article
recalling the important facts, the not so important details, forming
putting the keywords in order and finally creating a topic sentence
sum up the entire article. Remember that
everyone is going to have different responses and that is ok. Each topic sentence will be different as
well, but should all include the main points from the article. These will be collected to do your best
work! Remember those periods at the end
Assessment: I will collect the
student’s individual responses to the 5 steps of summarization and look
them to be sure that each of the steps was considered and contemplated. I will also walk around the room while
students are recording their responses to ensure that they are
steps and thinking thoroughly about their responses.
“Bears and People:
Learning to Live Together.” Ives,
Sarah. National Geographic Magazine. 22 September 2004.
Camp.” Thompson, Sharon.
National Geographic Kids Magazine.
4 May 2004.
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,