In Your Own Words…


Pam Riddle

Reading to Learn



Rationale:  Comprehension is a very important of aspect of reading.  In order for children to comprehend what they have read, they must understand the text.  Summarization is an excellent strategy for children to use to learn comprehension.  This lesson is designed to teach students how to summarize.


Chalk and Chalkboard

Multiple copies of the article, “Face to Face, Can humans and mountain lions learn to share their turf?” from






1.  Explain to the students the importance of comprehension and the use of summarization.  “When we read something it is very important that we comprehend what we are reading.  When we comprehend something, we understand it.  There are different ways that we can work on building this understanding and one of the best ways is summarizing.  Summarizing is when we read something and pay attention to the important information and get rid of information that is not as important.”

 2.  “I am going to read a few sentences off of the board.”  The teacher will then read these sentences:  My mom and I woke up Saturday morning.  We got ready.  We got in the car.  We had to stop at a couple of red lights.  We went to the library.  I checked out four books.  “These six sentences are all focusing on one idea, which is going to the library.  All of this information is not needed for you to remember the most important information.  We could summarize this paragraph in two sentences:  My mom and I went to the library on Saturday.  I checked out four books.  These two sentences tell us the most important information that we want to remember and get rid of the information that is not needed.”  The teacher will write these two sentences on the board to show the students the difference.  “Notice that I did not copy any of the sentences.  I read them and put the important ideas in my own words.”

 3.  The teacher will then hand out a copy of “Face to Face, Can humans and mountain lions learn to share their turf?” to each student.  A highlighter will also be handed out to each student.

 4.  The teacher will then explain to the students what they are about to do.  “I have given each of you a copy of the article, “Face to Face, Can humans and mountain lions learn to share their turf?” and a highlighter.  I would like for each of you to read this article silently and highlight information that you believe is very important to the article.  While you are doing this I am going to walk around the room and look and see what you are highlighting.  After everyone is finished highlighting, we are going to talk about what you thought were the most important facts in the article.”

5.  The teacher will walk around the room observing what each child is highlighting.

 6. After all of the children have completed reading the article the teacher will call their attention to the board.  “What did you all find to be the most important parts of this article.  Please raise you hand.”  The students will tell what parts they found to be most important and the class will discuss some of these facts and why they are important to the article

 7.  The teacher will then give the children a piece of paper and a pencil.  “Now I would like for all of you to write me a summary of this article.  Remember the summary will include only information that is important to the article and will not have repeated information.  Also it is very important that you do not copy directly from the article.  This needs to be in your own words.”

 Assessment:  The teacher will assess the students by reading their summaries.  He or she will check to make sure that the important information from the article is included in the summaries.  They will also check to make sure trivial or repeated information is not included in the summary.



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