"What's the point?"

Katie Mayo

Reading to Learn


Rationale:  As children become better readers it is central for them to understand how to gain meaning and to understand what the story is about. Beginning readers are focused on pronunciation and understanding what a word means that assists in helping them to comprehend what the story is about. Comprehension is developed through practicing reading. It is important that students become comfortable with reading and gain skill in areas such as decoding in order for better comprehension. Skills to comprehend can be taught by modeling and practice. Another successful way for comprehension is to use the summarization strategy, through summarizing students can gain a better understanding of what was read.


-chart paper

-markers, pencils, paper

-copies of short children's article: "How do animals spend the winter?" By: Science Made Simple.  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/animals.html


1. I will begin by explaining to the students that they are going to do an activity that will help them pick out the important parts of stories that they read. I will ask, "Can anyone tell me what the word summarize means?", "Why is summarizing important when we read?" I will explain that summarizing is a strategy that will help them to understand what happened in what they read. I will let them know it takes a lot of practice, and I will also model reading a paragraph from the article that we are reading, and model how to summarize what they just heard.

2. I will then read the paragraph, and using the chart paper I will discuss and write the important facts that we should pull from the story to create a summary of what we just heard. Interactive writing will take place by me discussing what my thought process is on the chart paper while summarizing the paragraph from the article. I will explain my thought process aloud so the students can ask questions, and understand thoroughly how to summarize what they have read on their own. For example, "What do you think was the most important parts from what I just read?", "What is not very important, that we don't need to remember from the paragraph?" This will help the students to understand how to take out the important facts from the reading. Here is an example from the article:

"Animals do many different, amazing things to get through the winter. Some of them "migrate." This means they travel to other places where the weather is warmer or they can find food. Many birds migrate in the fall. Because the trip can be dangerous, some travel in large flocks. For example, geese fly in noisy, "V"-shaped groups. Other kinds of birds fly alone. How do they know when it is time to leave for the winter? Scientists are still studying this. Many see migration as part of a yearly cycle of changes a bird goes through. The cycle is controlled by changes in the amount of daylight and the weather."

Questions: What is the main idea from this paragraph? What does is it mean to migrate?

3. After I have modeled for the students how to summarize, I will hand out the article for each of them to read. Each student will have a pencil and paper. I will have them read the article several times to make sure they understood what they read. I will begin by having a whole group reading. I will then have them get into pairs to read to one another. Then they will read the article to themselves. They will then pick out the important information from the article and record it on paper. They will then get back into their pairs and discuss their findings. I want the students to also discuss the strategies they used to summarize the article. I believe it will be effective for the students to work in pairs and guide each other for a better understanding of summarization.

4. After everyone has finished, we will meet as a whole group and complete our chart on the important facts from the article. We will then have a completed summary of the article, and hopefully the students will have a better understanding of summarizing to help with future reading.

Assessment:  The students could be assessed by taking a quiz on the important facts from the article that was read.


-"How do animals spend the winter?" By: Science Made Simple.  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/animals.html

-Murray, Dr. Bruce http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/sirotarl.html

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