Say W-W-W-W-Wh-at?


Reading to Learn Design
Susan Schaum

 

Rationale: Summarization is one of the most vital concepts any skilled reader can utilize. To do so, readers must sift through all extraneous information to get to the author’s main point in a given amount of text. In doing so, readers exercise and strengthen their comprehension skills.

 

Materials:

 

 

 

Procedures:

 

  1. In preparation, the instructor should copy the above paragraph and chart onto the board.

 

  1. Review silent reading procedures with the children. “Does anyone remember the steps we use to go from reading aloud to reading silently? That’s right! We can start by reading the first sentence in a paragraph out loud. We take the next sentence and read it in our whisper voices like this. [Use whisper voice here.] On the third sentence, it is okay to move your lips as you read the words to yourself, but you should not make any sound. [Pretend to read words in a book moving only your lips.] Finally, we are at the point where we can read and be absolutely silent.”

 

  1. Introduce the idea and importance of summarization. “Today, we are going to talk about a very important part of the reading process. It is something that all good readers must be able to do. Has anyone ever heard the word, “summarize” before? Summarize is a verb, one of our action words, that refers to finding the most important part of a book, page, paragraph or any reading material. It is important to be able to do this because sometime the things we read may be a bit confusing. If you are able to pick out the main point, then you and others will know that you have understood what the reading was about.

 

  1. Read the practice paragraph. Read the text aloud and encourage the students to read along silently.

 

  1. Explain the “main details” or “5Ws and 1H” strategy and have the students practice it. Show the chart on the board. Tell them, “Each one of the words on this chart can be turned into a question that you can ask about any reading. Who turns into, ‘Who is the reading about?’ What turns into, ‘What was the story about?’ When turns into ‘When did the events in the reading take place?’ Where becomes ‘Where did this happen?’ Why is “Why did this happen’ or ‘Why did they do what they did?’ Finally, how becomes, ‘How did they do this?’ Now I want you read the paragraph again, on your own, and as you do, ask yourself these questions.”

 

  1. Model how to fill in the WWWWWH chart appropriately. “Okay, now that I’ve read and reread this paragraph, I’m going to fill out the question chart on the board. You’ll notice that for each question there is a space to fill in the details. These do not have to be very long or in complete sentences. I’m just going to write down the bare minimum of information I need to answer the questions. Hmm, Who….who was the story about? The story was about Katie. I’m going to write Katie in the blank next to Who.” Proceed through each of the questions in the same manner asking for assistance from the class. Explain that not all questions can be answered with every reading, but it is important to find out as much as possible.

 

  1. Have the children seat themselves at an internet-ready computer and open up the default browser (such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.) Have the children go to the Explorers - A - EnchantedLearning.com site listed above in the materials. Allow them 5 – 10 minutes to peruse the first page, but instruct them not to change to another site.

 

  1. Distribute two copies of the individual chart to each student. “On the first chart, I want you to write the name of the website we are on right now. Now, everyone look at the paragraph about Edwin Aldrin. He is the second person from the top. I want each of you to reread the paragraph about him and use that information to fill in your chart.”

 

  1. Establish a group summary. “Now that we are finished with our charts, would anyone like to raise their hand and tell me what is the most important piece of information we’ve read?” [Allow time for a few questions and answers, writing suggestions on the board.] Turn the answer that is the best summary into a summary sentence and write it on the board. Have the students copy it on their sheets in the blanks provided.

 

Assessment:

Have the students pick another short passage on this website. At this point, they are free to visit another page, provided it is found within the main website. Have them provide the exact URL of their new passage and assist them with this, if necessary. As before, instruct them to complete the chart, and using what they have found, create a summary statement for the passage. These sheets may be collected for the teacher’s evaluation. Teachers may use the checklist provided before for assessment purposes, but are free to pursue other means of examination.

 

Reference:

 

WWWWWH Chart

URL (or if not using a website, text title, author, and page number)

Who


What


When


Where


Why


How

                                                                                                                                                         
Topic Sentence:




Assessment Checklist

 

Are the following questions answered appropriately?
Additional Notes
Who
Yes or No

What
Yes or No
When
  Yes or No  
                                                                                         
Where
Yes or No
Why
Yes or No
How
Yes or No
Does the main topic clearly express one, main thought?
Yes or No



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