Reading to Learn
By Erin Pringle
Comprehension is one of the most important key concepts of
Also, it is a very important skill to teach children in order for them
become better readers. Summarization is a fantastic method to
to better comprehend material. It allows children to be able to
important information from the rest of the text. The purpose of
lesson is to teach children how to summarize using a series of
In this lesson, I will model how to properly use the steps of
and then I will allow the children to practice independently.
A copy of “Hot Spots” for every child in the classroom
Sheet with the steps to summarization for each student (and write on
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
1. First I will begin by explaining to the class what we
be doing: “Today we are going to learn a new strategy called
Does anyone know what it means to summarize? (Listen to the
Well class, summarization is being able to pick out important
from texts. A summarization of an article is the main important
that are found in the article. This strategy is very helpful for
and it will help all of us become even better readers, because it will
our comprehension skills. What is comprehension again?
someone will recall a previous lesson and give you the answer!) Very
that's right; comprehension is understanding what we read."
2. "Now I am going to give everyone a paper. This paper lists the
steps that you should follow when trying to summarize something.
go through them together. I will read them out loud as you follow
with your finger.
1. Delete unimportant information (any information that
not critical to our understanding of the article)
2. Delete repeated information (any information that is found in the
more than once)
3. Replace lists of items with easier words or terms (lengthy lists
be replaced with simple short terms)
4. Add a series of events with an easy action term
5. Select a topic sentence (one sentence that encompasses the meaning
6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none.
Are there any questions on any of the steps? (Cover all
3. "Now we are going to review a skill that we talked about recently,
reading. Who can tell me what “silent reading” is? Yes,
right; it means that we read to ourselves without making a sound.
is this important for good readers? Exactly, it helps us to
or comprehend what we are reading."
4. "Alright, now we are going to practice the skills that we have been
about. (Pass out the article). First, I want everyone to
a look at this article, and read the first two paragraphs to
silently. As you are reading, remember to focus on the words, and
to remember the important information."
5. "Now that everyone has finished this section of the article, let’s
to summarize it, together. First, we must delete the unimportant
I will model one unimportant fact on the board to give them an
"The following information is not important to understand the article:
Green carefully put her foot down as if it were her last step. It could
been.” This part of the article is not important because it does not
us something that we must know to understand the article. Since
do not need this information to comprehend the story, we can "delete"
from the text. Now, I would like for everyone to take a pencil
paper (pass out the materials) and write down the information that you
in the article that can be deleted. When you get done, lay your
on the table, and put your pencils down. "Okay, I have looked for
information, and I did not find any. So, we will move on to the
step. “The next step is substituting easy terms for lists of
Can someone raise their hand and give me an example from the
Good, now I want someone to raise their hand and tell me what they
would be a good topic sentence for this article. Very good, can
else give me another example? Great job!" I would use step
if there were not a topic sentence that we could use from the passage.
6. "You have all done a wonderful job, so far. Now, I want you to
to summarize the rest of the article by yourselves. Read the rest
the article silently. Remember, pay attention to the main ideas."
I will assess each student individually as they summarize
remainder of the article. "While you are reading the article I
you to write down the important information on the front of you paper
the unimportant information on the back of your paper. When you
finished, I want you to come up with your own topic sentence and write
down on the top of the front of your paper. I am going to take
up, so do the best that you can!" I would read their papers and
sure that they were able to distinguish between unimportant and
information. Then I would check to make sure that their topic
relates to the article.
Does their summary contain unimportant information?
Does their summary contain repeated information?
Are there lists or simpler terms?
Have series of events been replaced with action terms?
Has the student selected or created an appropriate topic sentence?
Knight, Sara. (2002). Steps to Summarization.
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