and Celebrate Earth Day!
Reading to Learn
By: Leslie McGill
Rationale: Without comprehension,
reading would have no meaning. Teachers should place an emphasis
on comprehension when teaching students to read. Summarization is
an effective strategy that helps students comprehend and understand
what they read. Through a series of steps, students can practice
- copy of Let's Celebrate Earth Day for each
- Rules for Summarization Poster:
- delete information that isn't important
and information that repeats
- list items and events in order
- find or invent a topic sentence
deletes appropriate information
lists events in the correct order
provides an appropriate topic sentence
uses poster and example as guide
1. 'We have an exciting
book to look at today; it's all about Earth Day! We will focus on
reading just a few sections for today. For today, we will read
about the first Earth Day and about endangered species. To be a
good reader, you need to comprehend what you read. When you
comprehend, you understand and remember what you read. Today, we
are going to practice a fun way to comprehend using the sections from
our book; we will summarize the sections. Summarizing will let us
pick out the most important ideas from the section and eliminate the
less important ideas from the section. Are you ready to
2. "I have a poster to
show you, it is the Rules
for Summarization Poster.
These are the rules we will follow
when we summarize. Let's go over these rules together.
(Point to the rules as you read them aloud.) The first rule is delete
information that isn't important and information that repeats; this
means get rid of the useless information and the information that is
stated over and over. The second rule is list
items and events in order; this
means write about the events in the correct order or rank. The
third rule is find or invent a topic sentence; this
means find or make-up a topic sentence that covers the entire
reading. I am going to hang the Rules
for Summarization Poster in
the front of the room so we use it for practice."
3. "I am giving each of
you a copy of Let's Celebrate Earth
Day. Turn to page three with me; this page is about the
history of Earth Day. The page is only one paragraph long; I want
you to read it silently. While you read, try to separate the
important ideas from the less important ideas. Do you have any
questions? Great, begin!"
4. "Okay, I see you are
all finished reading. Let's summarize the paragraph together;
look at the Rules for Summarization Poster.
First, we need to delete information that isn't important
and information that repeats.
What do you think is
some information that is not important? Okay, Senator Nelson is from Wisconsin is
not important. I do not need to write that down since it is
not important. Was
there any repeated information? I hear most of you
saying no. Who thinks there was repeated information?
Okay, you think that the first Earth
Day was April 22, 1970 is repeated information. Where
was that idea repeated? That’s okay, now you realize that the
information was not repeated. If it was repeated, we would need
to delete it though, great try! Second, we need to list
items and events in order. What information can we list in
correct order? Fantastic, Senator Nelson said if
you’re not a part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
What is something else we can list that would come next? Great, Senator Nelson worked to ban DDT, a
dangerous pesticide that polluted lakes and rivers. Both
of these ideas are written on the board; now we need to relate them to
our next step. Third,
we need to find or invent a topic sentence.
Remember, the topic
sentence should cover the entire paragraph; the ideas on the board
should relate to the topic sentence. Raise your hand if you can
tell me a topic sentence for the paragraph; I
will write your ideas on the board. Good, Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to educate
people on ways to protect and conserve in order to save our planet.
Does everyone agree? Great! Our topic sentence is Senator Gaylord
Nelson wanted to educate people on ways to protect and conserve in
order to save our planet. Class, you just summarized!"
5. "Now, turn to page
six with me; this page is about endangered species. The page is
only two paragraphs long; I want you to read it silently. As you
read, use the summarization rules; they are still hanging at the front
of the room. After you finish reading, take out a sheet of
paper and a pencil. You need to summarize the page. Use our
class example that is still on the board if you need some extra
help. If you have any questions, just raise your hand."
6. For assessment, walk
around and observe their work making sure they are following the rules
on the Rules for Summarization Poster and the example summarization on
the board. Use the assessment checklist during this time.
Take-up the individual summarizations as they finish.
Allred, Katie. "Beary
Super Summarizing!" Auburn University. 2002. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/allredrl.html
"Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of
Text." The University of Chicago. 1989.
Roop, Connie and Peter. Let's Celebrate Earth Day.
The Millbrook Press, Inc. 2001.
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