Summarizing Success!!!!

Reading to Learn Design

Sarah Barton

The purpose of reading is to comprehend. This lesson gives students strategies to help the comprehend text by summarizing what they read. This is important in upper elementary school because students move to reading expository text. This lesson helps student summarize by teaching summarization strategies. This will be done by using a graphic organizer of a web and checklist for summarizing.

-pencil and paper (for every student)

- copy of Time Magazine Kids article The Future of Energy (for every student)

-dry erase board and markers

-children's book How Ben Franklin Stole the Lighting (Scholastic Inc.),

-bookmark checklist for summarizing (for each student):
    1.Pick out important details that are necessary to the story.
    2. Pick out the less important or repeated ideas from the passage and delete them.
    3. Highlight the important and necessary details using key words.
    4. Pick a topic sentence
    5. Create a topic sentence if there is none.

1. Begin by asking the students if they recall what silent reading is? Demonstrate and let them respond by saying yes or no. Start of by reading the children's book, How Ben Franklin Stole the Lighting, in a normal tone of voice. Ask the students if that was silent reading. Continue reading in a lower hushed tone of voice (whisper) and ask the students if that is silent reading. Lastly read the book without making any mouth movements while your eyes dart over the words and ask if that was reading silently. Hopefully they will say yes and you will discuss why the first two were not silent reading and the last was.

2. Introduce the idea of summarization to the students. “Today we are going to be talking about summarization. It is important in reading when you want to read and get information like in the newspaper.” Ask the students if they know what summarization is, “Can anyone tell the class what summarizing means?” Listen for answers making sure the students list picking out the important information in the passage and taking out information that is not important.

3. Explain to the students that they are going to learn 5 easy steps to help them summarize. “Today we are going to learn 5 easy steps to help us summarize passages.” Write each of the steps on the board explain them. “The first step is to pick out the important information. The second step is to delete the less important information. The third step is to highlight the important details using key words. The fourth is to pick a topic sentence. The fifth is to create a topic sentence.” Pass out the bookmarks to each student.

4. Discuss with the students how this is done. “A great way to use all these steps is to make a web or map using the steps we just went over. While reading the passage think about what you are reading by asking yourself 'is this important' and if it is tag it in your mind. Once you are finished reading make a web.” On another part of the board write Ben Franklin and draw a circle around it. Then make two lines from that circle that have two facts about Ben Franklin. Remind your students that Ben Franklin was a writer and scientist that helped write the Constitution. Write those facts on the board.

5. Pick up the book How Ben Franklin Stole the Lighting and read a few pages out loud to the students. Model how to summarize, “Let me tell you what I was thinking about putting in the web. First I remember he thought of the idea of having a fire station with fire fighter and the first library.” and write that on the board. Ask the students to go down the checklist and and discuss what was important,not important, and what a good topic sentence would be.

6.Give the students there own copy of the Time Kids article, The Future of Energy and tell them they are going to have their own chance to practice the summarization skills they learned. Encourage them to use the checklist on the board while reading the article. Give them directions once they are finished reading to make their own web using the information in the article. Let the students know they may write on their article to delete and highlight information in the passage if they would like to.

Assessment: Take up the webs that each student has made and compare it to the checklist of summarization skills

Delbanco, Andrea. The Future of Energy. Time for Kids Magazine. 18 November 2005. Volume 11. Issue 11.

Lombardi, Annette. Mapping Out Summarization. <> Reading Genie Website.

Melton, Shealy. Summin' It All Up.<> Reading Genie Website.

Pressley, Michael(1989). “Strategies That Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text.” The Elementary School Journal. The University of Chicago. Volume 90. Number 1.

Schanzer, Rosalyn.(2003). How Ben Franklin Stole the Lighting. Scholastic Inc. New York, New York.

Click here to return to Constructions.