Grrrreat Reading!!

  Reading to learn

    Lauren Elliott


Rationale:  Good, skillful, strategic readers have acquired fluency skills and read for meaning. This means that they are able to read fast, smooth, and expressively while comprehending the text at the same time. Reading comprehension is the goal of skillful readers. One way to gain and grow from reading comprehension is by practicing summarization strategies. Summarizing what is being read as you go along will make the text more clear, meaningful, and memorable.  In this lesson, students will practice using summarization strategies to comprehend a text by reading an article, creating a story web, and writing a brief summary of the covered material.


Materials: Paper; pencil; dry erase boards; dry erase markers; copies of Good News for Grizzlies by: Jill Egan; overhead projector; example paragraph (pages 1-3 in The Art Lesson by: Tomie dePaola); story web guidelines; summarization checklist for each student; grading rubric



1. Review fluency and silent reading. “Let’s see how good your memory is by recalling the characteristics of a fluent reader. I will give you a hint. As fourth graders, we are all used to reading with fluency. What are some of the things we do when we read?” Call on students. “That’s right, we read quickly and smoothly and we use expression. We also read silently most of the time. Let’s read the following paragraph silently and pay attention to these characteristics as we read.”  Display an example paragraph on the overheadà Tommy knew he wanted to be an artist when he grew up. He drew pictures everywhere he went. It was his favorite thing to do. His friends had favorite things to do, too. Jack collected all kinds of turtles. Herbie made huge cities in his sandbox. Jeannie, Tommy’s best friend, could do cartwheels and stand on her head! But Tommy drew and drew and drew.


2. “Great job reading. Now I would like for someone to summarize what we just read.”  Remove example paragraph and call on student. “Summarizing what we read as we go along is a very important strategy that skillful readers use to help them understand the meaning of the text that they are reading. Sometimes we read so fluently that we do not take the time to think about what the author is trying to tell us. One strategy that I find useful when I read is to make a story web. We can make our story web by using the following rules to help us get started.  Story Web Guidelines:   


3. Model how to make a story web on the overhead.

      -Topic sentence in center of web (Example: Tommy’s Dream)

      -Use the rules listed above as a guide and draw 5 connectors around web and think of   5 important parts of the example paragraph with the class. (Example: His favorite thing to do is draw; he wants to be an artist, etc.)


4. Write a sample summarization on the overhead with the participation of the class. Model how to write a paragraph with 4 or 5 short sentences that demonstrate understanding of the text. Be sure to model completeness and neatness in your writing.


5. Pass out a copy of Good News for Grizzlies by: Jill Egan and summarization rules checklist to each student. Give students 5 minutes to read silently before instructing them to create their own web and brief summary.


6. Students will discuss their summarizations with their neighbor when they are finished.


Assessment: I will walk around the room assisting students who need help and listen in on partner discussions. Story webs and summaries will be collected and graded using a rubric. Assessment Rubric for Reading to Learn.doc




Good News for Grizzlies by: Jill Egan


The Art Lesson by: Tomie dePaola


Pressley, Michael. Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text. The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90, number 1. The University of Chicago. 1989.

Assessment Rubric for Reading to Learn.doc

Story Web Guidelines:   



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