"Summing it all up!"

Reading to Learn

Summer Patterson 



Rationale:  Comprehension is very important to teach children when they are learning to read.  One way to help teach summarization is with comprehension.  In this lesson the children will learn how to summarize using a series of summarization steps.  I will model the steps and then the children will be able to practice on their own.








Sheet with summarization steps (have enough for each student):

1.)     Delete unimportant information.

2.)     Delete repeated information.

3.)     Substitute easy terms for lists of items.

4.)     Add a series of events with an easy action term.

5.)     Select a topic sentence.

6.)     Invent a topic sentence if there is none.


A copy of the tiger article for each student from the National Geographic Explorer for Kids magazine. 




1.)     "Today we are going to learn a new strategy called Summarization.  Summarization is picking out the facts that are important and that make up the main idea of the passage.  This will help us to better understand what we read."

2.)     "Now I will pass out a sheet to each of you that has a list of steps that you can follow when you are summarizing a passage.  Now we are going to read them together."  (Read steps 1-6 of summarization rules that are on the sheet to children.)  "Does anyone have any questions?  OK let's continue."  (Ask children if anyone has any questions if not continue if someone does have a question we will discuss what they do not understand.)

3.)     "Let's review our silent reading.  Does everyone remember how we read silently?  That's right we read to ourselves.  The reason we read silently is because it helps us to understand what we read."

4.)     "Let's practice summarizing our article using the steps we talked about. (Pass out article).  I want everyone to read the first three paragraphs of your article silently.  While you read remember to focus on the main ideas of the article."

5.)     "Since we have read the article lets summarize the three paragraphs together.  The first step is to delete all the unimportant information." (I will model an unimportant fact on the board to give an example.)"  The information I am going to put on the board is not important to understand the article: 15 minutes west of Baton Rouge, LA; Tiger truck stop keeps a 350 pound Siberian Tiger named Tony, and just off interstate 10.  This information is unnecessary for us to be able to comprehend the story so we "delete" it from the paragraph.  Now I want someone else to raise their hand and tell me something they read that was unimportant." (I am going to write 2 ex. On the board as they give them to me.)  "Now let's look for repeated information.  In these first 3 paragraphs of this article there is not any repeated information, we can move on to the next step which is substitute easy terms for lists of items.  Can someone raise their hand and give me an example from the article?  Very Good!  Now, I want someone to raise their hand and tell me what they think a good topic sentence for the part of the article we read would be.  Very Good!  Can someone else give me another example?  Great!  If their were not a topic sentence I would use step number 6."

6.)     "Everyone has done great today with learning about summarization.  Now I want everyone to try to summarize the rest of the article by yourself.  Finish reading the article silently to yourself and remember to focus on the main ideas as you read."

7.)     Assessment:  I will assess each student individually as they summarize the rest of the article.  "When you are reading the article I want you to write down all the important information on the left.  When you finish reading I want you to come up with your own topic sentence and write this on your paper.  When everyone is through I am going to take this up so try your best."  I will read their papers and make sure they understand and know the difference between important and unimportant information.  I will also make sure that their topic sentence relates to the article we read."





(Steps to Summarization!  by Sara Knight)