Putting It all Together

Reading to Learn


Lea Mclean


Rationale: In order for children to develop full comprehension of the text they must learn to summarize and focus on the main points. One of the best techniques a student can use is summarization. Summarization is important for children to be able to locate the most important information from the text. There are certain techniques that students can use to have a better understanding of what they are reading



 Paper for each child




 Colored pencils

 Poster with three techniques to summarization (Pick out important ideas, eliminate the less important details, pick and combine the important ideas into one main  idea)

 article for each child on History corner “The Real Santa Clause by Child’s Life magazine”.



1. Talk to the class about silent reading. Reinforce that all good readers are fluent but also comprehend as they read. Explain to the class that comprehension skills are strengthened by learning how to summarize a story. Review with them the basics of silent reading and what they should be focusing on as they read. “Today we are going to be learning about summarization. Does anyone know what summarization is? Summarization is picking out the facts that are important and that make up the main idea of the passage.  This strategy will help us to improve our comprehension skillsSometimes it is hard to remember a story that you have read. However, it easier to remember a few main points to a story. Well today we are going to read a book silently at our desk. Can some one tell me what we do when we read silently at our desk? Good, we read the books to ourselves without talking to anyone around us”.


2.  Explain to the students the three steps to summarizing a story. Read them a short paragraph of a story and model for them how to summarize a story. Have a poster of all the three steps pointing to each step as you explain it to the students.  “Before we begin to read silently I want you all to remember the three steps to summarizing we talked about in class. The first step is to pick out important ideas that are necessary to the story.  The second step is to eliminate the less important details from the story.  The third step is to pick combine the important ideas into one main idea.”


3. Pass out an article to the entire class. Have them read one paragraph silently once through without focusing on the three steps to summarization. Tell the students to read the article for a second time. Explain to the students that we are going to do a practice activity with summarization. Have the students think about the three most important facts from the paragraph, what ideas are not important, and one sentence that sums up the most important idea. This activity will help the students understand how to summarize the rest of the article. “As everyone reads the paragraph for the second time I want you to summarize the story. If you come to information in the paragraph that is not important then cross it out by putting a line through the sentence. If you come to important facts in the paragraph then underline that sentence once. Once you find a sentence or sentences that sum up the main idea then put a box around the sentence”.


4. The children should have a good idea how to summarize a story. Have them read the rest of the article silently. Give the students a piece of paper and have them make three categories: deleted information, important facts, and most important ideas. Explain to them as they read they need to fill each category with the correct information. This will guide the children through the steps to summarization. Practice is important for children to build their skills in reading, As children become more comfortable with summarizing strategies the more comfortable writing a summary will become. If some students are having problems putting the information into categories on their paper allow them to continue to use the strategy above by crossing out and underlining. Only allow children to continue with the activity above if they are struggling with summarizing. “Everyone finish reading the article silently. Place the correct information into each category as you finish reading the article. You should have three categories on your blank piece of paper. If it helps you to continue to cross out unwanted information or underline important facts then go on with that strategy. Remember to transfer all of your information you find into one of the three categories on your paper”.


5. Continue to practice to review strategies to reinforce the techniques. The activity in procedure number four can be varied by using colored pencils to cross our or underline the information.


Assessment: Assess the student’s papers by checking paper with information from each category. It is most important that they understand the information that should be deleted and the information that is important. The teacher should be able to assess their knowledge by reading their papers and seeing if the correct information was put in the correct category. The teacher could also assess the children by giving them another article and having them do the same skill as the lesson has described. Assessing could be taken a step further by having the children write a summary with their category sheet.



Child’s Life. 2003. History corner, The Real Santa clause. Children’s Better Health Institute.


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