Reading to Learn Lesson Design
Lindsay Dick

An important strategy that students must learn is comprehension. One way to learn comprehension is to learn good summarization skills. Summarization allows the reader to have deeper knowledge about the material that they read. In the following lesson students will practice summarization skills. The students will then practice the summarization skills through reading an article and then creating a story web and writing a brief summary of the material read.

ü      Brief paragraph (written on the board) for students to review silently

Water is also found in the atmosphere. Gases that surround Earth make up its atmosphere. One of these gases is the oxygen you breathe.

ü      One copy of “The Physics of Baseball” by Sarah Ives (For each child)

ü      One piece of paper for each student

ü      One pencil for each student

ü      chalkboard

ü      chalk

ü      summarization checklist for each student

Cross-out information that you do not need

Cross-out repeated information

Substitute easy terms for a list of terms

Add a series of events with an easy action term

Select a topic

Invent a topic sentence if there is not one

1. Begin by reviewing silent reading.  Last week we talked about reading silently.  Can anyone remember how to read this way?  Good job- when you read silently no one should be able to hear you.  Let us practice this strategy before we move on.  I have written a paragraph on the board.  I want you to read it, but remember we are practicing silent reading.  That means none of your friends should be able to hear you read.
(Water is also found in the atmosphere. Gases that surround Earth make up its atmosphere. One of these gases is the oxygen you breathe.)

 2. Everyone did a wonderful job reading silently!  Today you are going to learn about summarizing passages.  Can anyone tell me something about the word summarizing?  Good job- it is something we do to show we understand a story.  How could you summarize an article?  Yes- you could write a paragraph about it and you could talk about it with your friends.  There are several steps to becoming successful at summarizing passages:  (write these on the board)


3. Use the steps I have written on the board to summarize the written paragraph on the board.  Let us look at the paragraph that we read silently. What is the first step to summarizing?  That is correct. Erase all information that you do not need. Why would we take something out? That is right; because the story or passage does not have to have in order for us to understand.  Why do we take out what we do not need in the paragraph?  Mark through portions of paragraph that the children say need to be eliminated. The next step is to delete repeated information. Repeated information is any information that has already been given in the paragraph. Why do we do this to the paragraph?  Now, are there any words that can be used to substitute several words? Allow children to give their ideas and record on the board. Great! What word can be used to describe this entire paragraph?  Allow children to give their ideas and record on the board.  What is a topic? Correct; a topic is what the story is about.  Is there a topic in the paragraph?  That is right; there is a topic.  The paragraph is about (gases).  If you could not find a topic about the paragraph, you could use all of the steps to help you decide what the topic would be.

4.  Now we are going to make a story web.  First, we are going to draw a circle and write the topic of our paragraph in the center.  We said the topic was physics so we will write this down.  Now, we will connect all the words we used to describe the paragraph.  What are some words we could use to describe how physics and baseball are related? (Water, atmosphere)

5. Today you are going to read “The Physics of Baseball” by Sarah Ives.  While you are reading I want you to remember each step used to summarize a passage. If you would like to take notes on the article you may.  When everyone has finished I will teach you how to summarize the passage.  Remember to look for main ideas, topics, and delete information that is not needed in the passage.  Give children enough time to read the selection

6. Now I would like everyone to take out your paper and pencil.  We are going to write a summary about “The Physics of Baseball.” First, make the center of the story web.  Now, I would like you to write the topic in the center.  Next, draw five connectors around your center.  I want you to think of five parts of the article that you thought were important.  Give children enough time to complete this task. When you write a summary it will be in paragraph form.  There needs to be four to five sentences within you summary.  Once everyone has finished, I would like you to discuss your summary with one of your neighbors.  To write a summary begin with your topic.  Then, describe the topic within the paragraph.  Allow children to experiment with this activity and observe each child. 

7. Assessment:  Have children choose an article from the National Geographic archives on the website.  Then, have each child read article, draw a story web, and write a brief summary.  Use a rubric to score summaries based on completeness, neatness, understanding of the topic, has a story web, has a summary, and kept on task during the activity.


Long, Angela Carroll. Swoosh-Remember That from


 National Geographic For Kids. “The Physics of

Baseball,” Susan Ives:

Click here to link to guidelines