Become a Summarizer!






Reading to Learn

Lizzie McCalley



            Comprehension is a very important skill to be learned. It is a major component of fluent reading. There are many different activities that can help children to learn how to focus on the main idea of a passage. One key skill to learn is summarization. This can help students pick out certain parts of a text that are more important than others; all in helping them understand the text more clearly. This lesson will teach students the many different techniques of how to summarize a text, teaching them better comprehension skills to help them become more fluent in reading.



Article for each student, “Snowy Owls” by Catherine D. Hughes

Article for each student, “American Bullfrogs” by Catherine D. Hughes

Highlighter, pencil and paper for each student

Poster with the three summarization techniques:

            1. Pick out main ideas and information

            2. Delete trivial information

            3. Relate the main and supporting information

Rubric and worksheet for assessment




1. Initially, the topic of summarization must be explicitly introduced and taught to the students. Have a discussion about what students already know about summarization and exactly what it all is. “Summarization is a process of taking the most important information from the article you read. There are many ways to make sure you understand all of the content along with the summarization process. It is a great way to take an entire story and make it into a couple specific and clear sentences to make it much easier to read and understand!” Next the teacher should explain that in class they are going to read two different, very interesting articles about animals! “Let’s begin!”


2. The first thing that should be done is to show and explain to the class the three different steps that need to be taken when summarizing something. Explain all three steps explicitly: pick out the main ideas and information, delete trivial information and lastly, relate the main and supporting information. Now, the teacher will explain how wit the first article, titled “Snowy Owls,” they will do this process as a class together to really learn the concept! (Pass out the highlighters, paper and article to each child). The teacher will then provide a book talk to the students before reading it aloud and beginning the activity. “So today, our article is called, Snowy Owls. It is a story all about owls! Did you know that these owls are the same color as snow! It is how they got their name! Males are whiter than females! There are so many interesting and neat facts to learn in this article, so let’s start reading so we can learn more!” Teacher reads the text aloud. Next, the teacher helps the students brainstorm about the main information in the article to figure out the best points to put in the summary. “So the article discusses some of the main qualities about the snow owl, such as its eating habits, how their hearing is most effective, they are most active in their hunting during dusk and dawn and finally that these types of owls mate for life.” Then the teacher should explain to them how to apply these main facts to the three summarization techniques.


3. Now the students can try to use what modeling the teach has provided to then use the three summarization techniques on their own.


4. Lastly, provide the students with their own article, “American Bullfrogs,” so that they can practice this skill on their own. Again, discuss what are main point ideas and how to delete that trivial information. Also make sure to have a book talk about the text before the children will read it. The students will be reminded to work quietly at their desks and that they can references the poster with the summarization techniques of necessary.



            Checking the student’s work the assessment worksheet provided. Also, you can ask them different comprehension questions to see if they really understood the entire article. Provide them with different prompts to make sure the students wrote about the main ideas and comprehended the article accurately.




Eleanor McDavid:


BeLinda Thorton:


Lizzie Fain:

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