Sensational Summarizing

Reading
to Learn

Meagan Harrington

Rationale: In order to be a sensational reader, a reader must be able to summarize. Summarizing helps comprehension skills which in turn creates good readers. Summarization is an effective, research based aid that helps reading skills. There are three rules to summarizing: 1.) Deleting trivia and redundancies, 2.) Superordinating items and events, 3.) Compose a statement to cover everything the writer has written about. In this lesson, children will learn why summarization is so important and how to use summarization skills.

 Materials:
~ Paper for students to practice summarizing strategies
~ Pencil
~ Book, Secret Letters for each student
~ Chalkboard, chalk
~Article from National Geographic Kids for each student
~ Worksheet so children can write deleted trivia, superordinate items and events, and topic sentence to help comprehension

 Procedure:
1.) First, I will review silent reading with my students. Silent reading is a very important part of summarizing. If a student does not know how to properly read silently, it could affect their comprehension. "Good Morning class! Who can remind our friends what it means to read silently? Good Job!"  Now demonstrate how to read silently. "Watch how you can see my mouth move but do not hear my mouth. Now I want everyone to practice reading each word to themselves but do not let your neighbor hear you!"
2.) After a few minutes of letting them review silent reading I will gather their attention back. Next, I will explain that summarizing what they have read will help them remember the story better. "Have you ever read something and your mom or dad asked what the story was about when you are finished? I know we have all done that before! When you are telling your parents about the story you read, you are summarizing. You do not re-tell them every word of the story. You pick the most important facts about what you read."
3.) Now, pass out the expository article to the students. This is an article about newly-discovered dinosaur species in Utah. The newly found dinosaur is being called a duck-billed dinosaur. Does anyone know what that means? Well, I want you all to silently read the article about this NEW and exciting discovery!  Remember when you read to ask yourself, who? What? What? Where? Why? Remind them about the three rules to summarizing. Write them on the chalkboard so they can look up on the board to be reminded. Write on the board, 1.) Delete trivia and redundancies, 2.) Superordinating items and events, 3) Compose a statement to cover everything the writer has written about.  When you are all finished we will get back to a whole group."  When everyone is finished, (in about 15/20 minutes) ask a variety of questions. Make sure some of the questions are key points in the story and some that are not.
4.) After that, the students should have a basic understanding of summarizing. Now, pass out paper to each student. The paper will have three columns on it. The first will be titled, Deleted trivia. The second column will be, Important Facts and the third will be, important ideas. Have each student independently fill out their charts. Model your own chart with chapter one. This is a great way of scaffolding! If children do still not understand go through and help them cross out unimportant information and circle important information. When they are finished filling out their sheets have each student find a partner to summarize the article. They should take the steps for summarizing that will be posted on the board and they used with their worksheets.  
5.) For an assessment, collect each student's chart sheet to see what they wrote in each column. Walk around the room and listen in on the partners as they summarize the article. Make notes.

References:
Hodge, Jessi. Summarize Successfully           

National Geographic Kids. Giant Duck-Billed Dinosaur Discovered.http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/SpaceScience/Duck-billed-dino                                

The Article:

The skull of a newly-discovered dinosaur species in Utah, Gryposaurus monumentensis, looked pretty amazing from the outside. Scientists call this different-looking dino a duck-billed dinosaur.

The strong bill was useful for ripping leaves from plants. But what's inside the skull is even more amazing: for starters, some 300 teeth for grinding up the leaves it ate.

This dinosaur also had plenty of extra teeth ready to drop into place as some wore out from all that chewing.  "There are slots in their jaws for 40 to 50 rows of teeth, depending on their age," says paleontologist Terry Gates of the Utah Museum of Natural History, one member of the research team studying the fossil skull.  "Each slot has four or five replacement teeth. So when you do the math—two hundred times four jaws—you'll see that there are a total of 800 teeth." The big dinosaur must have eaten a lot of leaves to fuel its huge body and wear out so many teeth.

A researcher found the skull at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in a remote part of Utah, where fossils from many species of dinosaurs have been discovered.

Additional bones turned up about three miles away, enabling paleontologists to figure out that this giant was at least 30 feet (9.14 meters) long. "The humerus, or upper arm bone, is longer than my leg—it comes up to my hip," says Gates.

Gryposaurus monumentensis roamed this region looking for food during the Late Cretaceous Period, which was 75 million years ago. "We know the area was wet, humid, and swampy," says Gates. "There were lots of plants, but we don't know yet what they ate."

Paleontologists are surprised that the duck-billed dinosaurs from Utah are different than duck-billed dinosaurs that lived in Alberta, Canada, in what is now Dinosaur Provincial Park."Why aren't they the same?" wonders Gates. He says such a large dinosaur should have been able to travel long distances. "Maybe they ate special food and didn't want to leave it. Or was there a river or mountain system blocking their way?""Paleontologists don't just dig up fossils, name new species, and throw fossils in a museum," he explains. "We use them to look at the evolution of life at that time in many parts of the world."

Gates says new research will focus on nearby Colorado and Wyoming looking for clues. What they learn about Gryposaurus monumentensis  will help our understanding of dinosaur evolution.


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