Sum It All Up


Reading to Learn

Skye Carver

Rationale:  The main goal of reading is comprehension.  In order to comprehend, the reader must be able to separate the important information from trivial details.  This means pulling out the main ideas.  Students will do this by reading chapters and summarizing these chapters into three or four main points.

Materials:  paper, pencils and a copy of Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan for each student.


1.)    Begin by explaining to the children that it is very important that when we read, we understand what is read, and we can remember some of what we have read.  This is especially important when we get into reading chapter books, where it might take us days or weeks to finish the book.  One way to do this is by summarizing.  Summarizing is when we take what we have read and pick out some of the most important points.  This way we will know the main idea of the text we are reading.

2.)   Next, the teacher will read out loud chapter one of Sarah Plain and Tall allowing the children to follow along or visualize the story.  After this is done, then the class as a whole will come up with a summary.  “Class, we are now going to write a summary of this chapter.  In order to do this we need to pick out the main points of this chapter and the details.  We are going to use the main points of the chapter to write a summary.  By summarizing we are writing a short version of the chapter by throwing out the details.  Let's make a list of the main points of the chapter.  As the children call out parts of the story, the teacher will write them on the board underneath the title that either says "main points", or "details".  As the teacher writes them on the board, discuss with the children why they are main points or details. 

3.)   Assessment- The children will read chapter two silently and make a list of the main points and some details. Then they will write a summary individually to be turned into the teacher.


Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text by Michael Pressley

It’s Super to Summarize by Kelli Preston

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