The Map of Summarization
Reading to Learn
Larkin Ade

Rationale: An important aspect of reading for a child is remembering what they have read. Summarizing the main idea of a text is an important strategy to understand and remember text. This specific strategy must be taught to students so they can remember what they have spent their time reading.

Materials: paper, pencils, copy of Charlotte's Web, a chapter book by E.B. White, published by Scholastic INC. for each child, summarization checklist. The checklist could be teacher written about the main points they found in the chapters and the rules of summarization.  Check off if the student saw the main points and followed some of the rules of summarization.

1.Start your lesson with a review of silent reading. "We are going to start today by reviewing silent reading. Why do we read silently? That is correct so we can comprehend what we are reading. When we are silently reading, we are learning a lot of new information.  Today, we are going to learn about summarization, which is a new way to understand what we are reading. Who knows what a summary is? That is a great point, you write a summary by picking out the main points of a paragraph."

2. "There are six different rules to know about when you summarize."
* Delete unimportant information
* Delete repeated information
* Substitute easy terms for lists of items
* Add a series of events with an easy action term
* Select a topic sentence
* Invent a topic sentence if there is none

3. The next step is to introduce the book Charlotte's Web.   As the teacher, I will read the first chapter aloud to the class.  After I finish reading the first chapter, I will model how to write a summarization map. "I need everyone to take out their pencil and paper please. On the board, in my first circle I am going to write the title of the book Charlotte's Web.  Then coming out of that circle I am going to write some of the important events that took place in the chapter. Who knows what some of the important aspects of the first chapter were?  That is a great one.  I am going to write the characters.  There is Fern, her father Mr. Arable, the baby pig, Mrs. Arable, and Avery. A key thing to remember is we must only pick out the important things in the chapter and to refer back to the rules of writing a summary."

4. "Let's read chapter two of Charlotte's Web.  Together I want us all to make a summarization map of chapter two. (Model the summarization strategies if they are still having trouble) This map will make it easier to write a summary of each chapter.

5. "By looking at your maps, you can all see the main points of the first two chapters of Charlotte's Web. Looking at your maps, I want you each to summarize the two chapters with one or two sentences each. Keep referring to the summarization rules as you do this."

6. "Since we have gone over the first two chapters together and summarized them, I want you all to read the third chapter and summarize it by yourself. When everyone is done, we will go over our summarization together and be sure everyone is seeing the main point of the chapter."

Assessment: Take up the students' maps and the chapter summaries and read over them to make sure they understand how to summarize. Have a checklist so that you will know if the students understand summarization and what areas they still need help in.

Pressley, Michael, et al. (1989). "Strategies that Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text." The Elementary Journal. Volume 90, Number 1. University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois. Pages 90, 3-32.

Dr. Bruce Murray's Reading Genie website: Lindsey Dean. "Summarization Mapping"

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Scholastic Inc. Publishers, 1952.

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