"Summarizing with Frindle!"

Reading to Learn Lesson

Jayme Ebaugh

Rationale:  Comprehension is one of the most important reading concepts to teach children while learning how to read.  A good way to help them comprehend text is to summarize.  During this lesson the students will learn how to summarize an article by composing a story map and they will learn three steps of summarization.


Class set of Frindle
Five large sheets of butcher paper
Markers for each group
Checklist of main points summarized for each chapter


1.  First, the teacher will discuss with the students the importance of understanding what they are reading. “In order to understand what you read, we are going to use a strategy called summarization which helps us pick out the important parts of the text.”

2.  Explain and model summarization.  "When you summarize, the steps you want to take include:
        1. Finding the main points
        2. Deleting any small details
        3. Combining repeated ideas
4. Comparing the topic sentence."        

3.  Introduce the book Frindle to the class. “Today we are going to begin reading the book Frindle.  Frindle is a story about a young boy going through elementary school who likes to cause a lot of distractions to the teacher and the class.  You’ll have to read into the first chapter to find out what kind of 'distractions' the boy likes to make and what his consequences are."

4.  "First, each of you is going to read the first chapter to yourselves, and while you do this, I want you to follow these directions as you summarizing when reading:
    a. Read one paragraph at a time.
    b. Note the important details from each paragraph.
    c. Read chapter one again to yourselves.  As you read, write down some words or ideas that you think explain about what is going on in                 the story."

5.  When they have finished reading there will be a class discussion question and answer period about what they had just read. Questions will be in the form of who, what, when, where, and why.  The students will use their notes they took while reading chapter one during this class discussion. In order to show what is important and what is not, the teacher should also ask some questions that are not important, such as, what was the main character wearing?

6.  When the class is finished, I will begin discussing story mapping.  “We are going to make a story map as a class to help us summarize what we have just read.  (I will hang a piece of the butcher paper on the chalkboard to make the model) First, I will draw a big circle in the middle of my paper.  Inside the circle I will write ‘chapter one.’ I am going to ask you what the main ideas of chapter one were like we discussed before of who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Each time I write one of your answers to these story mapping questions, I will draw a line from our big circle and draw a little circle to write the topic and then a line with your ideas attached to it.

7.  “Now, that we have finished our story map, we are going to write a summary.  Our summary only needs to be three to five sentences long, which makes a paragraph  This should include the main idea of what went on in chapter one.”

8.  “Now I am going to split the class up into four equal groups and assign each group to read one of the next four chapters.  For homework, everyone will read their assigned chapter and write down ideas and notes as you read to bring for discussion and story mapping tomorrow.  Tomorrow your groups will make your own story map and write a summary at the bottom of the chart to be shared with the rest of the class. Remember to follow the steps we learned about today in order to comprehend what you read! And make sure you read to be able to participate and create the map tomorrow like we did today!

9.  “Great job today class and I look forward to hearing about what you read and brainstorm as a group tomorrow!”

Assessment:  I will use the group story maps, summaries, class and group discussion participation, and individual notes for assigned chapter reading to assess the students’ understanding and comprehension.  As I take up each groups notes and group story map, I will provide feedback when I give it back to them for the students to see where they missed a point or what they needed to add in order to complete the summarization for that chapter. I will check to ensure that each student was able to summarize the text by locating the most important information. The teacher will have a checklist that she makes up to see that the children have found the important points for each given chapter of Frindle.


Clements, Andrew. Frindle. New York: NY. Scholastic Inc. 105 pages.

Oglesby, Kara. Fun with Summarizing.


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