Cat Facts

Reading to Learn

Ellen Battles



Comprehension is a necessary goal of reading. When children are in the late elementary school years, comprehension becomes significant to understanding text that is read. The goal of comprehension is to be able to read and study a text and recall it later. Summarization is a tool the students can use to better grasp comprehension. In this lesson the three basic steps to summarization will be modeled and taught. The goal of this lesson is for the students to learn the steps to summarize and then apply them.



-class set of the book, "Really Big Cats" by Allan Fowler. Rookie Read-about Science Series.

-2 pieces of paper per student


-post its cut into small squares or strips(have about 10 small squares per student)

-dry erase markers

-white board

-semantic outline for each student

-poster with 3 summarization guidelines on it:

            1). Delete information that is not important of repeated

            2). Highlight the important and necessary details by using key words or headings

            3). Find a topic sentence and if there isn't one, make your own.



1). Boys and girls, today we are going to learn about comprehension and summarization. Can anyone tell me what the comprehension means? That's correct. Comprehension is when we remember the details about what we read and summarization is telling the important facts about what we learned. We are going to practice writing summaries about a book we read. There are three guidelines to follow when summarizing. (go over steps on poster with group discussion and explanation of each step).


2). I want to tell you about this book called "Really Big Cats" (show cover). (Begin to read page 3-4 aloud). Cats may make fine pets.  They are small and cuddly, gentle and quiet‰¥Ï‰¥Ï.(continue)..Biggest of all are lions and tigers!! To find out more about lions and tigers, you are going to have to read this book. And your in luck, because now you get your chance to read it.

3). Now I am going to pass out our book, "Really Big Cats". Pass out book to each student. I am going to teach you a trick about remembering important information when you read. When you are reading the book to yourself, I want you notice important facts according to the 3 guidelines of summarization and then, here comes the trick. I want you to (model while explaining) put a post-it on the sentence you think is important. For example, on page 6 it says, "Most lions live in Africa." I am going to put a post it on that sentence because it  is an important fact. It tells me where most lions are located. Marking the pages  will help you when you come back to summarize. I am going to give you a stack of post-its but remember, to only put post-its on what you think is important. If you run out of post-its, go back and rethink some of the facts you thought were important and decide if they truly are important.


4). Now I want you to read silently to yourself and put those post-its on your important facts. I am going to give you about 15 minutes to do this. I will walk around if you have any questions. Ready‰¥Ï get set‰¥Ïgo!!


5). While they are working, I will draw a large semantic map on the white board.

Now that everyone is finished, I want you all to look up at the board. This is called at semantic map. Before we get started in filling in the map, I want to hear some facts about what you read. (allow students to share details about what they have learned). You all did a great job pulling out the important facts. Now, I want us to answer these questions as a class. (go over semantic map, it has four circles for the four main types of big cats). Class, there are four circles in our semantic map. I am going to fill in the first circle with LION because they are one type of big cat. Can anyone else think of a type of big cat? That's great, JAGUAR, LEOPARD and TIGER. Now I want us to fill in some important facts for each Cat. I will start with LION again. I will write MOST LIONS LIVE IN AFRICA.  Great job.  This time, I want you to take about 10 minutes and fill in your own semantic map. This will help you when you summarize.

(hand out semantic outlines to each student)


6). You all did such a great job with your semantic map and now, I want you to write a summary about the book. Remember, I want you to use your map as a guide when you are writing.


7). For assessment, I will collect the students summaries and semantic maps and grade them according to a rubric based on if they followed the three guidelines of summarization.



Dyle, Erin. (2006). Catch those Butterfly Facts!

Pressley, Michael. Et al. (1989). "Strategies that improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text." The Elementary Journal.    
    Vol. 90, Number 1. University of Chicago, Illinois. Pages 90. 3-32.

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