Sum It All Up

Reading to Learn

By: Rachel Thompson


Rationale: Comprehending the information and events from a story or book is an important ability for children to obtain. Children have to be explicitly taught how to analyze and summarize the important details of a text. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to pull the important information from a passage after reading the text.



“Steps to Summarizing” Poster

Dry Erase Marker

Document Camera

Copy of Who Did Patrick’s Homework for each student

Pencil for each student

Copy of Quiz for each student



1.      “Today we are going to learn what it means to summarize a passage. To summarize means to give a brief statement that presents the main points of the passage that you just read. You should not include details in a summary, but you should include the reason why the author wrote the passage. First, we are going to learn and practice summarizing.”

2.      “To begin, everyone look at the board as we take a look at the Steps to Summarizing Poster. There are three steps I want everyone to do when summarizing. First, delete anything that you think is not important to the story. Second, pick out items and events that you believe are important. Third, compose a statement that cover everything the author is saying about the important topics. These steps are very important and are the things I will be looking for as you summarize your passage.”

3.      “Now, I will show you what I mean by using these steps in summarization. For this example, I am going to use the passage we read in class yesterday. Does everyone remember reading this story? Great! Now, I am going to summarize what we read. I am going to be sure to use the summarizing steps and we will be able to recall what the story was about. (Display a copy of the story on the document camera so the students can see the story as we are summarizing.) First I am going to mark out all of the information I do not find important. (Mark out sentences on the copy of the passage so the students can see what you are doing on the board.) Next, I am going to underline the important facts of the story. Now that I know what the important information is, I need to determine why the author wrote the passage. Lastly, I will compose a statement of the purpose and all the important details that I have underlined.” (Get the students to help pick out the important ideas and help come up with summarization sentences.)

4.      “Now, that you have seen me summarize, I want each of you to try and do it. I am passing out a copy of Who Did Patrick’s Homework? By Carol Moore. This story is about a little boy names Patrick who did not like to do his homework. Yet, somehow he got all A’s in his classes. You will have to read to find out how Patrick pulled this off.”

5.       “Each of you has three minutes to read the passage. Remember to underline the important information, but no details.” (Let students know when the time is up.) “Now that everyone is finished reading the article, I want you to get into groups or two and help each other summarize the text you just read. The Steps to Summarizing Poster is on the board for you to reference. Make sure you and your partner go through each step will summarizing.”



To ensure that each student was able to pick out the important information, I will pass out a quiz with five questions referencing the important pieces of the passage.



Crump, Amy.


Moore, Carol. Who Did Patrick’s Homework?


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