Let's Sum it Up
Heather Grenon

 One objective we have for students reading is to learn and retain information.  Reading to learn is what all children eventually learn to do.  This skill can be learned and practiced through reading and summarizing passages.

 Non-fiction books (Science book), pen, paper, Discovery magazine, Holt Science Book, 1989.

1. "Get out your science book and read pages 10-15 about snakes and lizards."  Students should be encouraged to read silently so they can read and retain information at their own pace.  "Practice reading fast over trivial details and slower over important facts you want to remember."
2. Before setting them loose to read silently on their own, I will review facts we have previously discussed about snakes and lizards.  For example, snakes are reptiles and they use the sun and shade to regulate their body temperature since they are cold-blooded animals.
3. "Go ahead and begin reading now.  Remember to pay extra careful attention to the facts so you can remember them."  Students should begin reading.
4. "When you finish reading, I would like you to draw a Venn diagram like this one (demonstrate on the board) on your paper."
5. "After you have filled out your Venn diagram, summarize in a few paragraphs what you included in the Venn diagram.  Be sure to look at the facts you included in your diagram."
6. I will model summarization (I will read a small paragraph in a Ranger Rick magazine and summarize it).  The magazine article is on reptiles.  I will summarize that article on the board by stating that reptiles are cold-blooded animals.  They use the sun and shade to regulate their body temperature, etc.  "Do you see how I have highlighted the main points from the article to share with you.  This is how you summarize something.  Are there any questions?"

 I will have the students read another article from Ranger Rick about snakes in class.  They will use this article to summarize on their own.  They will switch papers with their partner for assessment to make suggestions.  They will then turn their final summaries into me.

Holt Science.  Rhinehart and Winston, Inc.  1989.  pages 312-315.  Discovery Magazine
Pressley, M. Johnson, C. J. Symons, McGoldrick, J.A. (1989) Strategies that improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text.  "The Elementary School     Journal." 90, 3-32.

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