Allison Bagwell

Rational:  Summarization is one of the most important and essential aspects of reading comprehension. By finding key points and main idea words, students gradually become more skillful readers. In this lesson students will learn the steps of summarizing and then they will practice summarizing a selection of text.

Materials: pencil, paper, chalkboard, five step summary bookmarks for each child (laminated with the five summary steps listed on them), book- So Hungry by: Harriet Ziefert


1) Start by asking the students if they can define the word summary. Then ask them if they know what it means to summarize. After their answers, tell them in your words what summarizing is When we summarize we shorten a story and only tell the important parts in it. We just want to know the main idea of the story; we leave out the things that dont matter in order to reach the main idea. How could this be important in reading? When we read a long story we may not remember everything in it, but by summarizing we can recall the important facts of the story. OK, now we are going to learn five steps that will teach us how to summarize.

2) There are five simple steps to summarization. (Write steps on the board while explaining them)
 Number 1: Pick out important details that are necessary to the story.
 Number 2: Pick out the less important or repeated ideas from the story and eliminate them.
 Number 3: Highlight the important details using keywords.
 Number 4: List key words in the order they appeared in the passage.
 Number 5: Trim the list of key words down to one topic sentence.

Okay, now that we have our steps here in front of us, let us practice using them.

3) Hand out the book SO HUNGRY, after everyone has had time to read, summarize the passage as a class using the five steps. Now let us use the five steps to summarize what we have just read about for step one, raise your hand to tell me the important parts of the story. (Write the facts on one side of the board as students call them out) 1) Lewis and Kate are hungry.2) They decide to make sandwiches 3) They get in a fight over who has the best sandwich Great job! Those are all important facts found in the passage. Now lets move on to step two. Again, raise your hand and I'll call on you to tell me some less important ideas that we need to eliminate.  (Write these ideas on the other side of the board) 1) what was on the sandwich 2) Their were no cookies in the refrigerator. For step 3 we will use our list of important facts to make up keywords. Sandwich, Kate and Lewis, hungry. Good! You all are really catching on! Finally let's use these words to help us think of a topic sentence that will put all of these ideas together. Raise your hand if you come up with a sentence. (Take suggestions from students and explain that there is no one topic sentence but many possibilities. Be ready to model a topic sentence in case they do not have ideas. Example: Lewis and Kate are hungry and make a sandwich to eat.

5) Great work on summarizing class! Now I want yall to try it by yourself. Pick out a book of your choice and summarize it. Make two columns one for important facts and one for not important pacts. As you read the book, pick out the important facts and not important facts and put them into their columns. Then at the bottom take your important facts to make your summary.  

7. Give each student a Five Step Summary bookmark. To help you remember the five steps of summarizing I am going to give you a book mark with the steps on them. Use this to help you in the future remember how to summarize.

For assessment collect the student's papers and read over them to make sure they understand the summarization process.


Ziefert Harriet. So Hungry. Random House, New York.- you can purchase this book on google