Rationale: Students will discover how to summarize text that they are reading. This lesson will teach students how to summarize what they are reading, as well as help them eventually learn how to find meaning of what they have read.
Materials: copies of the article “A Big Home for the Big Cats” from Time for Kids Magazine (April 9, 2004, Vol. 9, No. 23) for each student, copies of the article “Word Wizards” from the same Time for Kids Magazine (April 9, 2004, Vol. 9, No.23) for each student, summarization checklist, markers, paper, pencil, and chalk
1. Start off by reviewing silent reading with the class. “Today, we are going to start by reviewing silent reading. Who remembers what I mean by silent reading? *wait for students to respond* Right, silent reading is when we read with our eyes and not out loud. Why do we read silently? *wait for students to respond* Good, we do this because it helps us comprehend what we are reading. There are also other things we can do to help us comprehend or understand what we are reading. One way is by summarizing our text. Who can tell me what it means ‘to summarize’? *wait for students to respond* Right, when we summarize something we retell it, stressing only the most essential parts in order to emphasize the main idea. When you are summarizing a text, you must construct a shorter description of what you read. This means you take out any information that is not important or that is repeated in the text.” Ask, “Class, why do you think summarization is important for reading? *wait for students to respond* Great job, summarizing helps us to better comprehend what we have read. Today I am going to teach a few necessary steps that will help you begin to summarize your readings, and then we will practice summarizing some text together. “
2. There are four easy steps to summarization. *write the steps on the board while explaining them out loud to the students*
Step 1: Pick out the most important details that are crucial to the story.
Step 2: Pick out the less important, or repeated details from the story and
get rid of them.
Step 3: List keywords in the order that they appeared in the article.
Step 4: Cut the list of key words down to one topic sentence.
Say:, “Okay class, now that I have written the four summarization steps on the board, let’s review them aloud and then practice using them.”
3. Pass out the article “A Big Home for the Big Cats” from Time for Kids Magazine (April 9, 2004, Vol. 9, No. 23) to each student. Tell them to begin reading the article silently to themselves. *make sure that you allow enough time for each student to finish the article*
4. Tell the students, “I am going to model for you how to summarize a paragraph using the four easy steps to summarization.” Read the first paragraph out loud to the students. “Now, I want you to listen for the important details as I read. Myanmar, a country in Asia, has just created the world's largest tiger reserve. The protected area is 8,000 square miles, about the size of Vermont. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a U.S. group that helped Myanmar create the reserve, announced the news last Wednesday.” After summarizing the paragraph, remind the students again, of the four easy summarization steps you used to construct the summary. Ask: “Did you notice how I pulled the helpful or significant information, leaving behind the less important details from the story? Great! Now I will write down some important highlights or keywords from the story in chronological order on the board. Finally, I will cut the list of key words down to one topic sentence.” The teacher should then read the topic sentence out loud to the students.
5. “At this time, I
want you to
take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Take a second look at the
the article silently." Be sure to provide a sufficient
time for each student to finish.
“Now, I want you to write a
summary of the rest of the article you just read. Remember to use
easy steps to summarization”. Make sure you only write the
details that you
think are important and do not forget to put it in your own words.”
While the children are
summarizing the article, walk around the class and monitor each
summary of the article. Give positive comments about the summaries
provide help if needed.
8. Assessment: “Now, I want you to take out another piece of paper and a pencil.” Give each student a copy of the article “Word Wizards” from the same Time for Kids Magazine (April 9, 2004, Vol. 9, No.23). ”I want you to read this article and summarize it the best that you can. Remember to use the four easy steps that we have talked about. You may glance at the board where the four easy steps are listed in case you have forgotten them.” Allow them to summarize the story on their own. The students will then turn in a summarization of the article to the teacher. The teacher will read each one making sure every child knows how to summarize a story by using the checklist below:
Redundant information was taken out:
O Yes O No
Trivial information was taken out:
O Yes O No
Only main points in the summarization:
O Yes O No
Pressley, M., C.J. Johnson, S. Symons, J.A. McGoldrick, and J.A. Kurity (1989) Strategies that Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text. The Elementary School Journal, 90, 3-32.
“A Big Home for the Big Cats” from Time for Kids Magazine (April 9, 2004, Vol. 9, No. 23) – http://www.timeforkids.com
“Word Wizards” from the same Time for Kids Magazine (April 9, 2004, Vol. 9, No.23) – http://www.timeforkids.com
(Web page by: Kelly Starr) Simple Steps of Summarization
here to return to Guidelines.