Carrie Norris
Reading to Learn
"Can you Summarize?"

Rationale:
Children need to know how to summarize text.  This means to point out the main ideas and leave out trivial points.  Summarization will help children remember what they read about.  It will help with comprehending and answering questions about certain texts they read.
Materials:
"Distress Calls" articles from National Geographic for Kids. (This article is only a piece of the whole thing.  It was a feature on elephants.) Article was written by Peter Winkler.  It appears on pages 4-7 on September 2001 issue of  National Geographic for Kids.   Paper and pencil.
Procedures:
1. Who in this room has had to read books or articles out of magazines and when someone asked you to explain it you could not remember what it was about?  I know I have been in that situation several times.  Today I am going to help all of us remember what we read.  This process is summarization.  Can anyone tell me what this means?  Well, it is when you pull out all of the main points in a story or article and leave out the nonimportant points.  I am going to hand out an article from National Geographic for Kids magazine.  We will be summarizing an article about elephants.
2. (Pass out articles.) I want everyone to leave the article turned over on your desk so you do not start reading before everyone else.  When everyone has an article, I will tell you to turn your article over.  Great!  Everyone has one.  Okay let's look at this article.
3. Now before we begin reading I want to review something.  We have worked on fluency.  Can anyone tell me what fluency is?  Yes.  It is being an accurate and speedy reader.  Well in our minds let's think about being a speedy reader.  This will help us to read this article accurately and fast so we will have time to talk about our summaries.
4. Now let's begin reading our article.  Remember we are reading silently so others can concentrate.  Try to pick out the main points in the article.  Do not worry about remembering the nonimportant points.  I will give you an example of a nonimportant fact.  "In, 1997, Africa's elephant population was about 500,000."  That would be an important point if we were talking about the number of elephants in Africa, but we are talking about communication from elephants.
5. Okay now that everyone has read the article let's write some of the main points on the board.  Raise your hand and tell me an important point.  I will give an example of an important fact.  "Communication skills help Earth's largest land animals survive in the wild."  See that is an example of a main fact.  I am now going to help you write a topic sentence.  To write a topic sentence, you need to pick out the main idea of the article.  Put the main idea into a sentence and that is your topic sentence.
Assessment:
Students will write a summary of the article on elephants.
Ok now everyone take out your pencil and a piece of paper.  We are going to write a short summary of this article that we read.  Remember what summarization means.  It means to remember all of the important ideas and leave out the nonimportant ideas.
References:
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/rouserl.html titled Whooz-z-z Can Summarize
http://nationalgeographic.com/ngforkids/0109/articles/big_talkers_0109.html
Article was written by Peter Winkler.  It appears on pages 4-7 on September 2001 issue of  National Geographic for Kids.

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