What's the Point?


Reading to Learn Lesson Plan

Mallory Cadrette

Rationale:  The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension.  Students can use the summarization strategy to better comprehend passages.  Summarization includes capturing all of the main ideas in a passage.  One method that shows that a student really understood what they have just read is to sum up the main ideas in their own words into one topic sentence.  This lesson will help children learn how to summarize.  They will learn how to pick out the important information of the text they are reading by using the summarization rules.

Materials:

-Copies of article, "Cool Things about Elephants," by Aline Newman for each student and teacher (found at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/0606/)

-Poster with summarization rules on it:
            -Get rid of unimportant information.

            -Get rid of repeated information.

            -Superordinate items and events under one umbrella term.

            -Select a topic.

            -Write a topic statement that covers everything that is important from the passage of text.

-Poster with paragraph on it from "Tsunami" (found at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/0512/):

-"Closer to shore, the waves slowed. The ones at the back of the series got closer to the waves in the front. One
         after another they crashed ashore. Some were as tall as an eight-story building. The devastating tsunami killed about
         300,000 people."

-paper

-pencils

-black marker for each student

-highlighter for each student

-Summarization Checklist:

Did the Student....

Yes

No

Get rid of unimportant information

 

 

Get rid of repeated information

 

 

Superordinate items and events

 

 

Select a topic

 

 

Write a topic statement that covers everything that is important from the passage of text

 

 

 

 Procedures:

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that we are going to learn a new comprehension strategy.  "Today, we are going to learn a new comprehension strategy called summarization that will help us understand what we are reading better.  Who can tell me what summarization is?  That's right!  Summarization means to take the main or the most important ideas out of a passage.  When you summarize a passage, you better understand and comprehend what you have read."

2. First, I will review the fluency strategy with all of them.  "Okay everybody, what do we do when we have trouble reading a word in a sentence?  That's right, we can crosscheck what we read to make sure our sentence makes sense.  For example, if I read this sentence (Write on the board: "The duck clacked and clacked.") as "The dock clucked and clucked" then I could use my crosschecking skills to determine that a dock doesn't cluck so my reading doesn't make sense.  I would then reread my sentence correctly as "The duck clucked and clucked."

3. Tell the students that: "To comprehend and understand what we read, we can use our summarization rules that are on this poster board."  Read the rules on the poster board aloud to the students.  "I now want you to read the article on the poster board entitled "Tsunami!".  Read the article silently to yourselves, and I will then model how to summarize this article following the rules on the board after everyone is done with the reading. "

4.  "Look at the "Tsunami!" article that is up here on the poster board.  It says: Closer to shore, the waves slowed. The ones at the back of the series got closer to the waves in the front. One after another they crashed ashore. Some were as tall as an eight-story building. The devastating tsunami killed about 300,000 people.  The first thing that I am going to do to summarize this passage is to get rid of unimportant information.  I am going to cross out with my marker- 'Closer to shore the waves slowed' and 'One after another they crashed ashore.'  The next step is to get rid of repeated information.  There is no repeated information in this passage, so we can move on.  The next step is to superordinate items and events under one umbrella term.  I am going to highlight- 'Some were as tall as an eight-story building' and 'The devastating tsunami killed about 300,000 people' because these are the most important ideas in the passage.   The umbrella term is the destructive nature of tsunamis.  The next step is to decide on the topic of the passage, which is the tsunami.  The last step is to form a topic statement.  My topic statement will be as follows: 'The tsunami was very destructive killing almost 300,000 people with waves that were up to eight-stories tall in height.'  That's how you summarize a passage using our summarization rules."

5. "Now, I have a copy of an article from the National Geographic Explorer Classroom Magazine that you can read silently and then summarize."  Provide a booktalk about the article: "Cool Things about Elephants is all about elephant's special and unique qualities.  Do you think elephants have long or short memories?  Are elephants gentle or aggressive?  We'll have to read and find out!  Remember to cross out the trivial, unimportant information with your markers and then highlight the important information you have picked out to summarize.  Finally, combine the important information into one topic sentence.  When you have completed your summarizations, we will all take turns sharing them with the class."

6.  For assessment, I will evaluate each child's summary of the text by using the checklist (in the materials section).  Each child will be evaluated on their ability to delete trivial and redundant information, find important information, and combine important information into one topic and summarizing sentence.  Afterwards, I will ask comprehension questions on the text to the class as a whole to make sure they understood what they were reading.

 

References:

National Geographic for Kids (2006). Cool Things about Elephants.  

            http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/0606/5.html.

National Geographic for Kids (2006). Tsunami!.  

            http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/0512/.

White, Amy.  Fly High and Summarize. 

            http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/whiterl.html.

Return to Encounters index