So What's important?

 Christie Blomeyer

 

Rationale: When students reach the age of 9 or 10, they reach a time of crisis. Upper Elementary children are given more difficult text with the task of reading and evaluating it with complete comprehension. Also when they reach this time in their schooling, they are given texts about subjects they are not fully familiar with, such as Social Studies and

Science. Children need to learn explicit comprehension strategies to aid them as they move into these new types of texts. Although there are many comprehension strategies, this lesson will focus on teaching students how to summarize the book or passage in their own words... Students will also learn strategies for selecting the critical information from text and omitting "fluff". The students will also focus on the vocabulary word porpoise, because this is what the article focuses on. Students will highlight text and then come up with a summary of their passage with

a partner.

 

Materials:

 

Paper

 

Pencils

 

Highlighter

 

Articles

 

National Geographic Kids. 2011. "New Dolphin Species Discovered in Big City Habor.'

 

Check List (Under Assessments)

 

Procedures:

 

1. "Today, we are going to learn an important tool that will help make you all better readers. Have you heard of the summarization? Summarization is the process of cutting out extra information, or fluff, in what we read and picking out the main facts that we as readers need to get the story. The extra information elaborates on the subject, so omitting it allows students to get to the point. This is important for you all because it allows you to focus on the important part of a text. This is especially helpful when dealing with expository texts because sometimes there may be a lot of unneeded information or words we do not know the meanings of."

 

2. "First we need to know what the difficult words mean in this article. Let's look over the article on the smart board and talk about some words we may not know in the text." Teacher will pull up the article on the smart board and we will go over the words that the teacher has preselected. The teacher will highlight these words on the smart board and they will go over the definitions as a class. The students will then write the definitions in their own words in their science journal and draw a picture to help them remember the meanings of the words. The preselected words are:

 

a. skyscrapers- a very tall building usually found in a large city with a large population (see below).

 

b. populations- pertaining or referring to a certain group c. marine biologist- a person who studies marine life

d. cranial- relating to the skull or head

 

e. biologist- a scientist who studies living organisms

 

f. porpoise- a family of small toothed whales; especially a blunt-snouted usually black whale who live in the North Atlantic or North Pacific; includes whales and dolphins

 

3. "Can anyone tell me why it is important to understand vocabulary in the text? That's right,

so you can understand the article! I picked porpoise to be the most important word because our

article is about dolphins, so it is really important to know what a porpoise is!" I will then explain

to the students the necessary steps in summarizing an article. I will tell the students to get

rid of fluff that elaborates on certain points already made in the article, pick out the best

information, and combine these things and write one or two sentences that covers the most

important information.

 

4. In the article we are going to read, scientists have found a new species of porpoises. Let's read 'New Dolphin Species Discovered in Big City Habor' and we will find out where it is found and if it is common to find new dolphin species. I will also show you how I summarize articles.

 

5.  First Paragraph. An entirely new species of dolphin has been discovered in Australia, and not in some isolated lagoon but in the shadows of skyscrapers, scientists say. One of only three

new dolphin species found since the 1800s, the Burrunan dolphin—named after an Aboriginal phrase that means "large sea fish of the porpoise kind"—is known from only two populations so far, both in the state of Victoria. About a hundred Burrunan dolphins have been found in Port Phillip Bay (map) near Melbourne, Australia's second most populous city. Another 50 are known

to frequent the saltwater coastal lakes of the Gippsland region (map), a couple hundred miles or so away.

 

 'First, I am going to get rid of unneeded details. These are sentences/ words that add fluff to the article, words that elaborate on other sentences and words. If you can comprehend a paragraph without the extra words or sentence, then it is probably okay to omit it. Let's see an example."

the Burrunan dolphin—named after an Aboriginal phrase that means 'a large sea fish of the porpoise kind'—is known from only two populations so far, both in the state of Victoria.

 

About a hundred Burrunan dolphins have been found in Port Phillip Bay

 

 Another 50 are known to frequent the saltwater coastal lakes of the Gippsland region

(map), a couple hundred miles or so away.

 

 one of the few found since the 1800's

 

 'Next, I am to select what I think are the most important details that help me understand the text.'

 An entirely new species of dolphin has been discovered in Australia, and not in some isolated lagoon but in the shadows of skyscrapers, scientists say.

 

One of only three new dolphin species found since the 1800s, the Burrunan dolphin

 

near Melbourne, Australia's second most populous city

 

 Finally, I am going to write a one sentence summary.

A brand new species of dolphin was discovered in Australia in a populated area near Melbourne.

 

5. "Let's practice our new skill. Each one of you select an article from National Geographic Kids. Read the article silently. Mark out the unnecessary information with your pencil. Highlight the key information. Write one or two sentence summary of what you have read."

 

6. Review vocabulary.

 

7. Get into groups of 4; share what you did to summarize your articles.

 

8. Share summaries with the class.

 

Assessment: Students will be assessed on their summarization sentences.  I will use a checklist to assess their progress. Students are required to earn at least 2 out of the 3 checks possible. (See checklist below.) I will use this information to determine which children need to work more on this skill.

 

    When summarizing did the student:

    Yes

    No

    Delete unimportant information?

    Delete repeated information?

    Organize items with a big idea?

    Select a Topic?

    Write an inclusive, simple topic sentence to summarize the passage?

 

 

 

References:

 

National Geographic Society. 2011. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/09/110916-

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/whitcombrl.html

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