Summing it all Up…In Your Own Words
Teachers use student’s summaries of text to see whether they comprehend
they are learning in the text they are given.
Some children have trouble with this and as a result need
how to go about doing so. The purpose of this lesson will be to show
teachers can teach children an important step in learning to review and
the main ideas of the text.
chalk, paper, pencil, Harcourt Science
book, paragraphs pulled from children’s’ expository texts - articles that include several section
headings from the following online magazines:
Geographic, Time for
Kids, or Scholastic
1. The teacher will begin the lesson by explaining that
summarizing is an important skill to master when reading.
It can aid you in your studying by helping
you to review for tests and quizzes, but at the same time it helps the
find out what the students are learning.
The teacher knows you are learning if you comprehend what you
reading. Today I am going to teach you
one of the first steps to summarizing and that is picking the main
I will read this paragraph to you and then I will find
the main topic of it. The teacher will
read the paragraph. Now I will write
down (on the board) what I think this paragraph is trying to tell me. To brainstorm what the main topic is, I will
write words or sentences on the board. Then
I will take what I have brainstormed and put it into a complete
sentence. I will make sure that it is in
my own words
because if I copy a sentence from the paragraph then that is not really
summarizing. Remember, summarizing has
to be in your own words.
Now I want you to try one. As I read a
paragraph I would like you to
brainstorm on your paper what you think the main topic is.
When brainstorming you may write down words
or sentences or even draw a picture if that helps.
Then I will give you about five minutes to
use your notes to come up with one main topic sentence to summarize
paragraph is saying. Do not forget that
it must be in your own words.
Now let’s review how to read silently because usually we
use the technique of summarization along with reading silently. First we begin reading aloud, then move down
to a whisper, then we read without making any noise, and last is not
moving our lips and just thinking the words to ourselves silently. We are going to use the paragraph that we
just read to practice this. We will all
begin reading at the same time and when I say so you will change from
aloud, to whispering, then to just moving your lips, and then to
words to yourself so that no one can hear you.
Ok, let’s begin.
Now we are going to combine reading silently and
summarizing into one activity. I will
give you another paragraph (each child should have a different
reading) and you will first read it silently, brainstorming on your
you read. Then I want you to summarize
the main topic by remembering what you read and by using your notes in
you. You will have about twenty minutes to do this.
Now I would like for every one of you to take out your science
books. We are going to use them to work
on finding the main topic in each paragraph that we read.
Turn in your books to page B22. You
will read the first lesson about desert
ecosystems that starts on page B22 and ends on page B25.
I want you to find the main topic of each
paragraph that you read using this same technique that we have been
you are finished you will turn them in to me.
Assessment will include their review questions from their
science book as well as a journal entry about what they think the main
a paragraph is and the strategy they used to find it.
The teacher will read all work and journal
entries making revisions and constructive comments on their work. The students will then get their work
returned back to them for feedback and more instruction.
In Your Own Words.
Jones, Robert M., Krockover,
Gerald H., Valenta, Carol. Harcourt Science. Harcourt, Inc. Orlando, FL. 2002.
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