Rationale: It is important for students to remember what they read. Summarizing the main idea of a text is an important strategy to understand and remember text. This strategy must be taught to students so that they can learn to summarize well.
Materials: paper, pencils, copy of The Incredible Journey chapter book by Sheila Every Burnford for each child
Procedure: 1. Begin with a review of silent reading. "We are going to start today by reviewing silent reading. Who can tell me why we read silently? We read silently so we can understand what we are reading. By doing this, we can learn a lot of new information at a time. Today we are going to learn a new way to make sure we understand what we are reading. Can anyone tell me what a summary is? You write a summary by picking out the main points in a story or passage.
2. "There are six different rules to know
about when you summarize."
1. Delete unimportant information
2. Delete repeated information
3. Substitute easy terms for lists of items
4. Add a series of events with an easy action term
5. Select a topic sentence
6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none
3. I will introduce the book The Incredible Journey. I will read the first chapter of the story aloud to the class. Then I will model to the class how to write a summary. "I want everyone to take out your paper and pencil. I am going to write The Incredible Journey chapter one in my first circle. Then coming out of that circle I am going to write some of the important events that took place in the chapter. For example, some important things would be the characters, such as the cat and the dog. We need to remember to only pick out the important things in the chapter and to pay attention to the rules of writing a summary."
4. "Now I am going to read chapter two of The Incredible Journey. Now I want you to help me make a map or a web of the second chapter. (Model the summarization strategies if they are still having trouble) This map will make it easier to write a summary of each chapter.
5. "Now you know the main points of these two chapters because all of the information is on your maps. Now I want you to write one to two sentences about each chapter to summarize the main points. Keep the summarization rules in mind while you do this."
6. "Now that you have practiced with two chapters, I want you to read and summarize the next chapter of the book on your own. When you are done, we will go over them together and make sure everyone was able to pick out the main idea of the story."
7. Assessment: Take up the students' maps and the chapter summaries and read over them to make sure they understand how to summarize. Have a checklist so that you will know if the students understand summarizing and what areas they still need help in.
Pressley, Micheal, et al. (1989). "Strategies that Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text." The Elementary Journal. Volume 90, Number 1. University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois. Pages 90, 3-32.
Dr. Bruce Murray's Reading Genie website: www.auburn.edu/rdggenie: Carmon Thrower
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