Summarization Station
Reading to Learn
child reading
By:  Jenni Anderson

Rationale: Children will learn to summarize text they are reading. This lesson will teach students how to summarize what they are reading and ultimately learn how to find meaning of what they have read.  Summarization is an important literacy goal because it helps students to understand what has been read.  It also helps students to remember the important information in the reading.

Redundant information was taken out



Trivial information was taken out



There are only main points in the summarization


1.                  First, review silent reading with the class. "Today, we are going to review silent reading. Does anyone remember what this is? (Child answers) Right, silent reading is when we read with our eyes, to ourselves, but not out loud. Does anyone remember why we read silently? (Child answers) Good, we do this because it helps us to understand what we are reading. There are also other things we can do to help us understand what we are reading. One of these ways is by summarizing our text. Who can tell me what it means to 'summarize?’  (Child answers)  Correct, when we summarize something we retell it, but we leave out the unimportant information and stress the important parts and main idea. When summarizing a text, your version should be shorter than what you read.” Next ask the students, "Why is summarization important for reading,” and explain that it helps us understand what is read. “Today I'm going to teach you some tips to help you summarize what you read and then we will practice together."

2.                  Tell the students there are five steps to summarization.  Write the steps on the board and explain them out lout.  Step 1: Pick out important details that are necessary to the story.  Step 2: Pick out the less important or repeated ideas from the story and eliminate. Step 3: Highlight the important details using keywords.  Step 4:  List keywords in the order they appeared in the passage.  Step 5: Trim the list of key words down to one topic sentence.  Then say, “Now that I have written the five steps and explained how to use them, let’s say them together and then practice using them together.” 

3.                  Next, pass out the article Mr. Pilling’s Pond to each student.  Tell the students to read the article silently.  Allow enough time for each student to finish the article and do not move on until all are done.  

4.                  Next, say to the students, "I am going to show you how to summarize a paragraph using the five steps we went over.  Listen for the important facts as I read."  Read the first paragraph aloud to the students.  After summarizing the paragraph, remind the students the steps you used to create the summary.  Remind the students about deleting trivial information by saying, "did you notice how I only wrote the important information and left out the unimportant stuff?"  "Good!"  "Next, I will write down keywords from the story in order on the board.  Then I will make the list of key words smaller and turn it into one topic sentence."  Then, the teacher reads the topic sentence aloud to the children. 

5.                  Next instruct the students to take out highlighter.  Tell the students, “Reread the rest of the article silently.  Use your highlighter to highlight what you think are the important parts of the article."  Provide a sufficient amount of time for each student to finish. 

6.                  Then instruct the students to take out pencil and paper.  "Now, I want you to write a summary of the section of the article you just read.  Remember to use the five steps we have practice together.”  “Only write your important highlighted parts and say it in your own way."  Walk around the room and observe students working and their summarizations.  Provide help if needed.

7.                  For assessment say to students, "Now, I want you to take out another piece of paper and your pencils."  Give each student a copy of the article, One Good Turn.  "Read this article and summarize it as best as you can.  Use the five steps we have been practicing and refer to the board if you need help."  Students should summarize the story on their own.  Then have students turn in their summarizations to the teacher.  The teacher will read each summarization to see if child can summarize properly.  Use the checklist in the materials list.

·        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.

·        Clark, Patricia Nikolina.  (2004).  Mr. Pilling’s Pond.

·        Rieth, Bette Anne.  (2004).  One Good Turn.

· (web page entitled Super Summarizer!!!  By: Emily Watts)

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