Sum It Up!

 

Reading to Learn

Kristin Saltsman

 

 

Rationale:

 

Comprehension is extremely important in reading. In order to gain comprehension of reading materials, children must use summarization skills. In this lesson students will be reading an article from the National Geographic Kids website. After reading the article, students will use their comprehension skills to summarize the article through designing a story web and writing a short summary concerning the article previously read.

 

Materials:

 

Brief paragraph written on board for the students to review reading silently:

            (Yesterday was a very long day for me. I woke up early so I could eat       breakfast. Then I went to school all day. We learned a lot of fun things. The    only bad thing was we were given homework. When I got home I ate a snack,            and then I started on my homework. After finishing my homework, I watch       television for a few minutes. I wish I could have watched it longer, but I had      to get ready for bed. After such a busy day at school, I was really tired. I went         right to sleep!)

 

One copy of “Honey Bee Mystery” by Catherine Clarke Fox published by National Geographic Kids, Numerous copies of various articles from the National Geographic Kids website, paper (for each student), pencils (one for each student), white board, and summarization checklist (one per student).

 

Procedure:

 

1. Start lesson by reviewing silent reading. “Last week we talked about silent reading. How do we read silently? Great answers! When you read silently your neighbors cannot hear what you are reading. Let’s practice quickly by looking at the paragraph on the board. Read the paragraph silently, but remember that your neighbors are not going to hear you reading.

            (Yesterday was a very long day for me. I woke up early so I could eat breakfast. Then I went to school all day. We learned a lot of fun things. The only bad thing was we were given homework. When I got home I ate a snack, and then I started on my homework. After finishing my homework, I watch       television for a few minutes. I wish I could have watched it longer, but I had to get ready for bed. After such a busy day at school, I was really tired. I went right to sleep!)

 

2. Great job everyone! That was amazing silent reading! Today we are going to summarize passages. Does anyone have an idea what summarize means? Good job! We summarize to help us to understand a story. One way that we can summarize is to write and talk about it with your friends. Let’s talk about some steps to successfully summarize a passage:

(Write steps on board)

a.      Delete unimportant information

b.     Deleted repeated information

c.      Substitute easy terms for a list of items

d.     Add a series of events with an easy action term

e.      Select a topic

f.       Invent a topic sentence if there is not one

 

3. Summarize the paragraph written on the board using the steps also written on the board. “Let’s summarize the paragraph we read silently. Who can tell me the first step to summarizing? Awesome! Delete all the unimportant information. Why do we want to take out the unimportant information? Great! The story does not need it for us to understand. Let’s take out the information we do not need.” Mark through or erase the sentences the students say need are unimportant.” Next we need to take delete repeated information. This means that we need to take out something if it is mentioned more than once. Do you see anything mentioned more than once? Great! Now, are there any different words we could use to replace with easy words?” Let students give their ideas and write them on the board. “Now, is there one word we could use to describe what the paragraph is about?” Let students give their ideas and write these on the board as well. “What do you think a topic is?” Great answers! A topic is what a passage or story is about. What do you think the topic is in this paragraph? Right! The paragraph is about someone’s long day. If you ever read a story or passage and cannot find a topic, you can use the steps to help you figure out what the topic is about.”

 

Make a story web for everyone to see. “Now we are going to make a story web about our paragraph. First, let’s draw a circle in the middle and write our topic in it. Let’s write ‘Long Day’, since the paragraph was about someone’s long day. Now, let’s write the words we used to describe the paragraph and connect them to our topic. What are some words we could use?” Write students responses in the web.

 

4. “Today you are going to silently read ‘Honey Bee Mystery’ by Catherine Clarke Fox. When you are reading the passage, remember the steps we just discussed. Take notes on the passage if you need to. When everyone has finished I will teach you how to summarize the article. Make sure to delete unimportant information, and look for main ideas and topics.” Allow enough time for students to silently read article and take notes if needed.

 

5. “Now I want everyone to get their pencil and a piece of paper. Let’s write a summary about ‘Honey Bee Mystery’. First we need to make a story web so we can get all of our information together. First write the topic in the center of the page. Next, I want you to draw five lines that connect to your topic. You can look at our example on the board. Now, think of five parts that you thought were important in the passage.” Allow enough time for students to complete their story web.

 

“When we write a summary, we are going to write it in the form of a paragraph. When you write the summary you need about four or five sentences. I want you to write a summary of the passage in paragraph form. Use your story web to help you with the important information you need. When you write your summary, begin with your topic. Then, describe your topic in your paragraph. When everyone has finished, discuss your summary with a neighbor.” Allow students to experiment with the activity and observe each child. Scaffold students if they need assistance.

 

6. Assessment:

            Have students choose an article from the various articles provided from the National Geographic Kids website. After choosing the article, have the students to read the article silently, draw a story web, and write a brief summary. Use a rubric to score summaries. The rubric should be based on the following:

Completeness, neatness, understanding of the topic, has a story web, has a summary, and kept on task during the activity.

 

Resources:

 

Angela Carroll Long, Swoosh-Remember That

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/insp/longrl.html

 

“Honey Bee Mystery”, Catherine Clarke Fox http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/animalsnature/honey-bee-mystery/

 

National Geographic Kids

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/animalsnature/

 

 Return to Doorways index

Kristin Saltsman