“Sum It All Up”

Stacy Snyder

Reading To Learn



Rationale: Summarization is one of the most important strategies fro teaching comprehension.  Without the ability to comprehend what you are reading, reading is useless.  This lesson is designed to introduce summarization to students using whole class as well as individual practice. 



-         Non-fiction book (such as National Geographic or a fact book)

-         Copies for each student

-         One highlighter per student

-         Paper for each student

-         Pencil for each student

-         One marker per student



1. I will begin the lesson by explaining to children what it means to summarize text. "When you summarize a text you must create a shorter version of what you read. This means you take out any information that is not important or that is repeated in the text. For example, if I read a passage such as I went to the park.  I went down the slide.  The slide was fast.  I could summarize these sentences by saying I went down a fast at the park.  Do you see how I was able to sum up what happened?  Today we are going to be practicing how to summarize a passage”.


2. I will then have the students get out their textbook and silently read the assigned passage (this will depend on which lesson you are on).  “ I want each of you to read pages 10-15 silently in your head.  The passage is about buffalo.  After you are done begin to think about some of the most important parts of the passage”.


3. After the children have finished reading the assigned pages, I will pass out copies of the text they just read. "We are now going to summarize what we just finished reading.

I wan t you to highlight what you think the main ideas or most important parts of this passage are.”  Then we will talk about each of the main ideas a class.  “Then I want you to take your marker and mark through all of the information that you think is not important to the passage.”    


4. "Now that we have finished highlighting and marking, I want you to write what is left on a blank piece of paper. Make sure you leave out all the information you marked out."  Then the students will read what they have written and discuss the main ideas.

5. After all students are finished, allow some students to read their summaries to the class. Encourage children to listen and see if their summary is similar to the one being read.  “What are the main ideas”?



I will assess the students by collecting their summaries of the main ideas and through observing their actions during the activity.




Click here to return to Explorations