Spinning up a Summary


Reading to Learn

Erin Carey

 

Rationale: Comprehension is the main goal of reading, and in order to comprehend a piece of written work, one must be able to make sense of the overall meaning of that work. One tool to help children do this is learning to summarize. This lesson will teach children how to summarize the information in an article to understand its main points.

 

Materials:

Copies of “Hurricanes” article for each child,

paper for each child,

pencil for each child,

dry erase board,

dry erase marker,

copies of checklist for each child:

1. Did they highlight the important parts of the text? Yes or No
2.  Did they cross out what was irrelevant or unimportant? Yes or No
3.  Did they include all important information without being too wordy? Yes or No
4.  Did they summarize in their own words rather than copy sentence for sentence? Yes         

  or No

poster of six steps:

      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
6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none.

 

Procedure:

1.Introduce the lesson by telling students that understanding what you read is very important. There is no reason to read unless you can understand what you are reading. One good way to help you understand and remember what you have read is to summarize it. Summarizing is when you find the main points and take out anything extra from a piece of writing.

 

2.There are six easy and important steps to follow to create an effective summary. Show the class the poster with these six steps:

      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
6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none.

 

3.Now, I am going to show you how to use these steps to write an effective summary. (Write the first paragraph of the “Hurricanes” article on the board.)

 

4.Go through the paragraph using each step to cross out information and write new sentences in order to create a good summary. Explain each step as you go.

 

5.Now I will pass out a copy of this article and a checklist with four questions to everyone. Please read the article silently and then write a summary using the six steps. Then swap papers with your partner and grade your partner’s summary using your checklist. Have students read “Hurricanes” article and write a summary of the article. Put children into pairs and have them grade their partner’s summary using the checklist.

 

 

References:

Let's Sum It Up! By Megan Schmidt from the Reading Genie Website

http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/schmidtrl.html

 

Pressley, M. Johnson, CJ Symons, McGoldrick, JA.  (1989)  Strategies that Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text.  “The Elementary School Journal.” 90, 3-32.

 

National Geographic for Kids “Hurricanes”

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/0308/hurricane/index.html

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