Summarizing Science


Reading to Learn
Leah Clark

Rationale Students must be able to comprehend the text they read. Reading for understanding is vital in to journey to successful reading. It is necessary for a student to comprehend the material in order to explore and understand texts. Summarizing is an effective method to teach students who want to retain the key events and ideas of a text. Students should also substitute easy terms for lists of items, as well as exchanging a series of events with one action term. It is also very helpful for the student to either find the topic sentence that covers the main idea of the story or create a meaningful topic sentence. Summarizing text can be beneficial to students in many ways including gaining overall comprehension.
Materials
Photocopies of Streaming Chemistry.Class set of dry erase boards. Class set of dry erase markers.

Procedures 1. We will begin the lesson by reviewing how to read silently to ensure all students understand how and why to read silently. "Can anyone tell me what we do when we read silently? Very good! It is when we read the words but we do not say anything with our mouths. Only our brain can hear us! Who can tell me why we read silently? Good answer! We read silently to help us understand and remember all of the good details from the text. Today we are going to practice reading silently, but we are going to work on summarizing what we have read as we work through the text.
2. Can anyone tell me what it means to summarize? The instructor will explain what it means to summarize. It means to tell what the main idea of the story was. There are steps we can take to understand and summarize the story better! Today we are going to talk about why it is so important to understand what we read and we are going to learn ways we can be sure we understand it. If we read something and do not understand what it says have we learned anything? No! When we summarize what we have just read, we can be sure that we understood the text.
3. Teach the students the steps we follow to correctly summarize a selected text. There are three easy steps we can follow to summarize what we have read. We can throw away all of the unimportant and repetitive information. We do not need all of those messy details to confuse us! Next we can think of a main heading or action word to take the place of a long list of items or events. We need to find or make up a topic sentence that tells the main idea of the story! If we follow these steps every time we will be able to summarize the story and retell it just as if it was your own!
4. The instructor will then provide each student with a copy of Streaming Chemistry To practice summarizing we are going to read this article titled Streaming Chemistry and summarize it using the steps we have learned. After you have read the article silently begin discussing the main topic of the article with a partner. Begin to delete the excess information and choose only relevant thoughts. After everyone is finished we will compare everyone ideas and come up with a class summary of the article." I will then introduce a booktalk Chemistry occurs all around us. How is Chemistry used in everyday life? Why is water important? Do you think we could survive on Earth without water? There is a stream of water which we will follow as it goes through change.
5. Classroom discussion will begin and all silent reading is finished. Ok now we are going to write out our ideas about the story to form a story map. We need to put the main idea in a circle in the middle like a web. Who thinks they know what the main idea might be? Take suggestions and draw a conclusion of the main idea. That is exactly right! The main idea of the article is chemistry is everywhere. Draw the story map on the board as the student copy on their own paper. I will then introduce a vocabulary review activity. The students will pair up and use flashcards to review the words: chemistry, fluoride, solid, and liquid.
6. The instructor will then find and explain topic sentences to the students. Since we know the main topic, now we need to add bubbles to the main idea with important information that completes the story. Remember we only want important information. One important fact I found was Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water in the United States to help prevent cavities from forming in our teeth. Do you all agree that this should go in a bubble around the main topic? Good. Now can one of you give me another idea that we should add to the map? Add a few more ideas of important info to the board.
7. The students will be given time complete the story map independently. Tell the students to create a topic sentence about the main idea. After you have completed your story map, it should be easy to put the thoughts into sentences and construct a summary of the article. I want each of you to take your map and create a summary of the article. The summary should tell what the article was about, and someone who has not read the article should still understand what it is about.
Assessment
I will use the summaries that the students create independently to assess their comprehension and summarization skills learned during this lesson. Their assignment will be assessed by their application of new knowledge, deleting important information, identifying main ideas, and constructing a topic sentence.

 

yes

no

Application of new knowledge

 

 

Deleting important information

 

 

Identifying main ideas

 

 

Constructing a topic sentence

 

 

 References
Sum it up.
Sharon Scyphers. Summarizing. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/scyphersrl.html. 2005.
Streaming Chemistry.
http://portal.acs.org:80/portal/PublicWebSite/education/whatischemistry/scienceforkids/articles/WPCP_011092

return to doorways index