Soaring Into Summarizing

Milk

Reading to Learn

by: Mary Kathryn Wheeler

 

Rationale: Once children have learned to read accurately and fluently, they must move on to the next step in reading. The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension, and the next step in reading is reading to learn. This lesson focuses on summarizing, a strategy to help students begin to read to learn. This lesson will help students learn to summarize by teaching them to delete trivial and redundant information and focus on the important parts of a text.

 

Materials:

·        Class set (including one for teacher) of the article "The First Airplaine" from Celebrating Chemistry. American Chemical Society (2003)

·        Blank bookmark shaped like an airplane (for each student)

·        Markers (1 pack per group of students)

·        Poster with summarizing rules (1. Delete unimportant or repeated information 2. Find important information 3. Write a topic sentence)

·        Overhead projector

·        Pencil and paper (for each student)

·        Assessment chart:

Did the student?

Yes

No

Get rid of unimportant information?

 

 

Get rid of repeated information?

 

 

Underline important information?

 

 

Write an organized topic sentence using only the important information?

 

 

 

 

Procedure:

1. Today we're going to talk about a strategy to help us comprehend what we're reading. Who remembers what it means to comprehend? (Call on student.) That's right! It does mean to understand the message of what you're reading. The strategy we're going to learn about today is called summarizing. Summarizing is kind of like giving a recap of what's in the text. Summarizing is a great way to help you understand and remember what you read.

2. Before we learn more about how to summarize, let's review what we've been talking about lately. Who can tell me what we've been talking about in social studies? (Call on student.) That's right! We have been talking about inventors. Now let's review some of the vocabulary we've talked about recently. Yesterday we said that an engineer is someone who applies scientific knowledge to practical problems. You could say, "The engineer who made this plane is very smart." Which of these could be an engineer? A mailman, a train conductor, or a banker? (Call on student.) That's right! A train conductor could be an engineer because he probably has to use scientific knowledge to solve practical problems on his train. Yesterday we also talked about engines. We said that an engine is a machine with moving parts that changes power into motion. You could say, "The engine in my car died so the car quit moving." Which one of these would not have an engine? An airplane, a school bus, or a bicycle? (Call on student.) That's right! A bicycle does not have an engine because you use your legs to make the bicycle move instead of using an engine.

3. Now that we've reviewed our vocabulary, let's go back to talking about summarizing. (Display summarizing rules poster.) You all have airplane shaped bookmarks and markers on your desks. I want you to copy down each rule as we talk about it, and then at the end of the lesson I'll give you all a few extra minutes to decorate your bookmark. The first rule of summarizing is delete unimportant or repeated information. Go ahead and write that down. (Allow writing time.) This means that if you see something that's not really important for the meaning of the text or something that you've already marked as important, you may draw an X through it (if it's a separate article like the one we're using today) or mentally delete it (if it's in a textbook). The second rule of summarizing is to find important information. Go ahead and write that down too. (Allow writing time.)  This means that when you see something that you think is important to know you should underline it or maybe write down a key word or phrase. The third rule of summarizing is to write a topic sentence. Write that on your bookmark. (Allow writing time.) This part is a little trickier, and we will practice it together in a moment, but it means that once you've picked out the parts of the text that are important you combine them to create a sentence. This sentence captures all the important parts of a paragraph within a text.

4. Pass out copies of "The First Airplane," and display a copy on the overhead projector. Now we're going to practice summarizing as a class. Let's look at the first paragraph of our article:

 

At 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903, two brothers from Ohio flew the first successful airplane for 12 seconds and 120 feet along a beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Taking turns as pilot, they flew three more times that day. Each time they flew farther. On their fourth try, they managed to go 852 feet in 59 seconds--an amazing feat at the time. The two brothers had invented powered flight.

 

I want everyone to be following along with me and paying attention to how I follow these rules. Let's look at the first sentence: At 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903. Do you think it's important to know the date? (Discuss.) Sometimes it is important to know the dates of things, but for the purpose of just understanding the main points of this article we don't really need to know the date. (Make an X through the date.) Let's keep reading: two brothers from Ohio flew the first successful airplane for 12 seconds and 120 feet along a beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Hmm.. What parts of this sentence are important for my understanding? I think the part about two brothers might be important so I'm going to underline it. From Ohio.. I'll make an X through that because I don't think I really need to know that they're from Ohio. Flew the first successful airplane. Oh I bet that part is important! I'll underline it. For 12 seconds and 120 feet along a beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. I think it may be important that they were in North Carolina so I'll underline that. Taking turns as pilot, they flew three more times that day. Each time they flew farther. On their fourth try, they managed to go 852 feet in 59 seconds--an amazing feat at the time. Since it says it's an amazing feat, I'll underline that they flew for 59 seconds. The two brothers had invented powered flight. I think I'll underline that because it definitely seems important.

So now that we've applied rules 1 and 2 of summarizing to this paragraph I'm going to demonstrate how to use rule 3 and create a topic sentence using the parts I underlined. I've got two brothers, flew the first successful airplane, North Carolina, 59 seconds, two brothers invented powered flight. Now I need to make this into a sentence that makes sense. Well sense I have two brothers already, I'll make an X through the first one. And now I've got: Two brothers flew the first successful airplane in North Carolina for 59 seconds. Now the only part left in that last phrase that isn't repeated is the part about it being a powered flight. So I'll change my topic sentence to: Two brothers flew the first successful powered airplane in North Carolina for 59 seconds.

Does everyone understand what I just did? Does anyone have any questions?

5. Now I'm going to let you all practice summarizing with the rest of this article. I want you to go through each paragraph and break it down like we just did. Be sure to follow the rules for summary and then change the order around in your topic sentence if necessary so that it makes sense. I want you to write a topic sentence for each paragraph in the article. You may just copy the sentence that I wrote for paragraph one, and then you will write four more topic sentences of your own. When you are finished, staple your article to your paper with the topic sentences and turn it in. Then you may decorate your bookmark. You will all have time to decorate your bookmark, so please do not speed through the assignment just to have time to color.

 

Assessment: I will review each student's topic sentences as well as the markings on each of their articles. I will use the assessment checklist for each student listed above to know whether each student followed the rules and understood how to summarize accordingly. Their sentences for each paragraph may vary slightly, but a good topic sentence for the second paragraph might be: Orville and Wilbur Wright never learned about engineering, but they learned how gears and pulleys worked from working on bicycles in their shop.

 

References:

"The First Airplane" from Celebrating Chemistry. American Chemical Society, 2003.

http://portal.acs.org:80/portal/PublicWebSite/education/whatischemistry/scienceforkids/articles/CSTA_015175

 

Stickland, Jessica. Summarizing Monkey Business. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/adventures/stricklandrl.htm

 

Foukal, Jenilee. Let's Summarize to Comprehend.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/adventures/foukalrl.htm

 

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