Becoming Skilled Summarizers!


Reading to Learn

Kelly Adams


Rationale: As students grow older and become more experienced with reading, they gain knowledge of helpful strategies. The most important goal of reading is comprehension, and one strategy that allows one to reach this goal is summarization.


-Copy of the article, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, for each student

-Pencil for each child

-Highlighter for each student

-Paper for each student

-Assessment checklist for each child (below)

-Loggerhead Sea Turtles article for the teacher to put on the overhead or document camera

-Overhead projector

-Overhead marker



1.) Start this lesson by asking the class who remembers what fluency is/what fluency means. Right! Fluency is being able to read quickly, smoothly, and with expression. Today we’re going to learn a new concept called summarization. With this new concept, we still need to remember to read fluently.


2.) Does anyone know what summarization is? (Let students respond). Summarization is putting together all the important information from an article, text, or passage. We summarize things to make it easier to understand, and we delete information that is not helpful.


3.) When we summarize, the first thing we must do is delete any information that isn’t important or helpful. We do this so that we can find the facts that are most important, and delete the ones that don’t help us to understand the main point of the article. Second, we will reread the parts that we found to be important and make sure that there weren’t any important details that we missed. Third, we put our points together and compose a statement that covers everything the author is saying about the article, passage, or text. Does everyone understand? What are we going to do first? Second? Third?

4.) Okay class, you are all now ready to become skilled summarizers! To become skilled summarizers, you all must remember to follow the three steps we just talked about. Today we are going to read about Loggerhead sea turtles. This article will tell us all different facts about these turtles from how they got their name, what they eat, and how many eggs they lay. How many eggs do you think they lay? We’ll have to read the rest to find out! Our vocabulary words from this article are hatchling (a newly born baby turtle that has broken out of its egg), disorientation (to be perplexed or confused), and turtle excluder devices (a device that allows turtles to escape if they get caught in a fisherman’s net).

5.) Once the article has been read aloud by the class, I will reread the first paragraph and show the students how to summarize it.  Then, I will tell students that I want them to watch and see how I choose the most important parts of the passage.                                                                                                                  

-These beautifully colored sea turtles got their name because their oversized head sort of looks like a big log. Within their heads are powerful jaws, which loggerheads use for crushing prey like conchs, horseshoe crabs, and other animals with hard shells. They also eat softer foods like jellyfish, fish, seaweed, and a brown algae called sargassum.

6.) The first two sentences are just a trigger sentence getting the reader interested in the article.  The words/phrases that I find and think are the most important from this paragraph, I’m going to highlight them. All of the others words leftover I’m going to cross out. In the first sentence, oversized head and looks like a big log are important because they are explaining why the Loggerhead sea turtle is called Loggerhead. In the second sentence, I’m going to highlight powerful jaws and prey like conchs, horseshoe crabs, and other animals with hard shells because it’s talking about how the Loggerhead uses its powerful jaws to eat animals with hard shells. In the last sentence, I’m going to highlight jellyfish, fish, seaweed, and brown algae called saragassum because these are things the Loggerhead turtle eats.

7.) Okay, so I am left with oversized head, looks like a big log, powerful jaws, prey like conchs, horseshoe crabs, and other animals with hard shells, and jellyfish, fish, seaweed, and brown algae called sargassum. Does everyone agree that these facts are important? So what do we do next? We need to sum up our facts and write our topic sentence. Loggerhead sea turtles get their name from their oversized head that looks like a log, and they use their powerful jaws to crush animals with hard shells, while also eating jellyfish, fish, seaweed, and a brown algae called sargassum. How does this sentence sound? Did I get all of the important facts? Let’s write this sentence on our papers.

8.) Now I want you all to practice summarizing the rest of the article on your own.  The three steps are on the board if you get stuck and need help. You will be working on this on your own. When you think you have all of the important information, write your topic sentence and your summary.

9.) When most of the class has completed the assignment, I will begin to call students one at a time to my desk and have them read their summaries to me.  I will go through the assessment checklist while the students read their summary.  When they are finished, I will go over how they did/what they need to fix.


The Reading Genie. Ally Johnson. “Super Summarizers.”

National Geographic Kids. Catherine D. Hughes. Loggerhead Sea Turtles.

Assessment Checklist:

Students Name: _______________________________________       Date: ___________________

Yes     No     

_____   _____   Picked out the most important information

_____   _____   Deleted unnecessary information

_____   _____   Understood the information from the text/article/passage

_____   _____   Wrote a sentence(s) summarizing the most important parts of text

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