Sum it up!

Reading to Learn

Kayla Jones

Rational: As students go through school, they learn how to read and strategies on becoming a better reader. The main reason why we read is to understand what we are reading, also known as comprehension. One strategy that will help us understand what we are reading is summarization. This lesson will teach students how to pick out the important information and delete unnecessary information in order to summarize a text.


"Healthy Eating article"[per child]

"Health and Wellness" article [per child]

Pencil [per child]

Paper [per child]

Highlighter [per child]

Assessment check sheet [per child-See below]

Healthy Eating article for teacher to put on the document camera

Expo marker for whiteboard


The teacher will say, "Today we are going to learn about summarization. Can anyone tell me what they think summarization means? (Teacher should allow allotted time for students to answer the question) "Correct! When we summarize a text, it means that we pick out the important ideas of a story and tell about them in our own words. Only the major ideas from the story should be mentioned in your summary, but the les important details should be left out."

2."We are going to practice now with the sample article. I want you all to highlight the main ideas in the story with your highlighter and cross out unimportant details in the passage with you pencil." Teacher will model how to pick out the important details and how to decide what is unnecessary information. Teacher will then give students time to dissect their sample passages. Then the teacher will ask the class, "What did you highlight in your passage? What information was not important? Did you highlight or cross out more information in the article?"

3. Ask class," Why do you all think that summaries are so important when you are reading? Have any of you ever summarized any of your reading before? Good Answers! Summarization helps us to better understand what we just read. Now, we are going to practice summarizing a text, Healthy Eating by American Chemical Society. This article stresses what kinds of foods you should or should not be eating. It helps you to understand why some foods are bad for you and why some foods are really good for you.

4."As you read the article to yourselves, I want each of you to pay close attention to what you are reading. After you read the story go back and cross out any information that you consider unnecessary and highlight the main ideas of the article. After you finish reading the article, I want you to write a summary of what you have read about in about 5 sentences. Please write in complete sentence. Only write about the key points, not the unnecessary information. Remember when we summarize, we write what we have read in our own words.  Now would be a great time to introduce some vocabulary words. Some of the words I would introduce would be calcium, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, carbohydrate.

5 Teacher will pass out, "Healthy Eating" article to the class. Students will have 15-20 minutes to read and summarize the article.

6. "Now that you all have had time to read and summarize the story, we are all going to talk about the main points of the article that some of you have come up with. I will write down the key points of the article that some of you have come up with. I will write down the key points of the article as I call on some of you to read your summaries aloud." (Some answers should be something like these examples: Our bodies need carbohydrates but not to many of them. Butter is a saturated fat and we should not eat too much of it. Calcium helps us to have strong bones and teeth.) "Those are all such great answers!"

7. Now that we have practiced summarizing a passage together, I am going to pass out one more articles, "Health and Wellness". This article gives us information on how to be healthy and stay well. I want you to write down at least four main ideas that you read in this article. What are some of the things we need to remember as we are summarizing the text? Great Answers! You should only write the important details and key points in the story. After you have finished summarizing the article, I will take up your papers. (Teacher will use checklist to make sure that students know how to highlight main ideas and cross out unnecessary information. The sentences the students write will also be sure for a classroom grade.)


"Healthy Eating" was written by American Chemical Society and can be found at:

"Health and Wellness" was written by Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona and can be found at:

McMillan, Mery "Summarization is a piece of cake" can be found at:

Assessment Check sheet:

Student's Name: __________________________________    Date_________

Yes   No

___ ___ Highlighted Key Information

___ ___ crossed out unnecessary Information

___ ___ wrote a sentence summarizing the most important parts of the text

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