Let's Summarize!

By: Stacy Lide

Reading comprehension is an extremely important skill for young readers to acquire.  Students need to learn that text passages have meaning and develop skills to help them comprehend the text as they read.  This lesson will focus on summarization in order for the student to become a more efficient and stronger reader.  Students will be taught the basic skills of summarization by reviewing key points in the text and creating their own summarization by a story map.

Multiple copies of Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish (enough for each student to have a copy of their own to read)
Class board for easy viewing of the class web
Writing Utensils for board

1.  Previously assign reading pages 1-20 in Peggy Parish's book entitled Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia one day before implementing this summarization lesson.

2.  On the reading assignment due date, have students get their copies of Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia for further class discussion. 

3.  Begin by explaining to the class the meaning of the term summarization.  "Summarization is very important because it helps us remember the important parts of what we read.  When you take mental notes of the important part in a story, you are pulling out what you think the main ideas of the story are.  Summarizing will help you learn to read faster and become a stronger readers!"

4.  Tell the students that you are going to read a few pages of the assigned reading.   "I want you to write down any words or ideas that you think are important for understanding the story while I read."

5.  Begin reading the selected text.

6.  After reading aloud, tell the students that you are going to make a class web based on what they wrote as the important ideas in the story.   Model how to create a story web by having students raise their hands and share their main ideas.  Tell students your thinking tracks on how to create the web as you draw it on the board.  "The first step is to draw a large circle in the middle.  This circle will be the main point that you will describe with all of your ideas.  For this web, I am going to call this circle Chapter 1.  This way, all of your ideas can fit under this category.  Watch how I write your ideas in the web.  They each have their own circle and a line to connect the idea to the main Chapter 1 circle. 

7.  Complete the Chapter 1 story web with the entire class.

8.  After the story web is completed, explain to students how to use the web in order to create their own summaries.  Tell students that the smaller circles represent main ideas from Chapter 1.  "We are going to use as many main ideas as you can to form a paragraph describing what happened in Chapter 1."  Togerther as a class, discuss the main ideas from the web and condense them to form a paragraph on the board. 

9.  After creating a class summarization, have students read the next fifteen pages on their own.  When they have finished reading, divide the students into four groups and have them work together to create story webs and a paragraph that summarizes the pages they have just read.  After each group has finished, let each group choose a member to read the constructed paragraphs to the class.

10.  Assess the students through their group work efforts, created story webs, and completed paragraphs to better understand their personal ability to comprehend meaning of text.

Oglesby, Kara. Fun with Summarizing. Reading to Learn Lesson Design (2003)

Parish, Peggy. Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia. Harper Collins Publishers: U.S.A. 1972. 65 p.

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