So what does all that mean?

By: Cheryl L. Hicks

Reading to Learn


Rationale: Reading comprehension is the thing that is most important in reading. Before a child can have good comprehension skills the child must be able to read fluently enough to be able to gain meaning from the text that is being read. It is also important that children learn how to take the main points of out of a text so that the main points may be remembered. The best way to do that is to teach children how to read a text or part of a text in such a way that the children can take notes from what they are reading. By taking notes, it is meant that the children learn to omit un-necessary items and focus on the major points of the text. This lesson will help students to learn how to find the main points in a text, contruct meaning from the text and, paraphrase the text.


Paper, Pencils, a copy of Simple Science: Skeletons and Movement by Maria Gordon c 1996 for each student, chalk and chalk board, a teacher made quiz covering the important points of page 16-29 of Simple Science: Skeletons and Movement.


Explain and Review: Introduce the lesson by explaining that we are going to work on figuring out how to summarize a text or piece of text. “Today class we are going to learn about how to summarize. Does anyone know what it means to summarize? When we summarize we read a part or whole of a text and then decide what is important.  Lets think back to the lesson the other day in Literature, the one where I asked you questions about the story. What type of questions did I ask? Correct I asked questions that covered the major stuff in the story not little details. What would be considered a little detail? Correct what color shirt the least important character is wearing could be considered a detail. When we summarize we do not want the small details we want the big picture. The big picture is the main point of the part or all of the text.  Well today, we are going to learn how to summarize when we read text.

Explain and Model: 

Okay, so the way that we summarize is this:  first you read the text, then you delete the trivial information and or redundant, order the series of events, and put it into your own words (Write steps on the board as you go).  The first thing you do is read the text and make sure you understand it.  Next you delete the trivial information or things that have been repeated. Then you put things in order in the way in which they occur. And finally you put it into your own words in as few words as possible.  Open your Simple Science: Skeletons and Movement to page 4. Lets read the first paragraph together. “A Skeleton is the hard part of a body that keeps it stiff. A skeleton gives a body its shape. It keeps the soft parts inside safe. Okay what is this paragraph talking about? That is right it is talking about the skeleton. What do we now know about the skeleton? It is hard, it gives our bodies shape, and it protects the soft parts inside of us. So, what did I do? First I read the text, and I understand what it is talking about. Then, I deleted the trivial and redundant information. I don’t really have to put anything in order because there are no steps or order needed. Finally, I re-word the concept in as few words as possible. “A skeleton is a part of our body that is very hard and gives us out shape, but most of all it keeps our soft body parts safe from damage.”

Simple Practice:

Okay, now, we are going to work through the need paragraph together.  I want you to read the first paragraph on page five to yourself. Okay what was important? Knees and elbows are a good place to feel your skeleton. Good, How can we re-phrase that so we can write it down? When you touch your knees and your elbows you can feel how are your skeleton is. Great Job. Now I want you to read the second paragraph on page five and then go through the step of summarizing and we will share some sentences in a bit. Okay, “Our body would not be able to do anything without a skeleton.” Great job! Now read page 6 and summarize what you read.

Whole Texts:

Okay, now I would like for you to read the rest about skeletons from page 7-15. Each paragraph I would like you to summarize. Okay now that everyone has done that I want you to summarize all of the paragraphs in as few sentences as possible while still covering all of the important information.

Assessment: For an assessment I would checking the children’s class work to see if the understand the concept of summarization and if not explain again the parts they do not understand. Then  I would ask them to read from 16- 29 and summarizing each paragraph. I would check this to see if the children summarized correctly then give them a quiz covering the important information in pages 16-29 and allow them to use their notes and let them see how summarization is helpful and important.


Pressley, M., Johnson, C.J., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J.A., & Kurity, J.A. (1989). Strategies that improve children’s memory and comprehension of tect. The Elementary School Journal, 90, 3-32
       Reading Genie

Sarah Asbury, Let’s Sum it up,



Quiz on Simple Science: Skeletons and Movement

Answer the Questions below you may use your notes and only your notes.

  1. What do most joints allow you to do?

    2. Animals without backbones are called ____________________.

  1. Are there some joints that do not move? If so why don’t they move.

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