Katie Allred
Reading to Learn Plan

"Beary" Super Summarizing!

Rationale:  Comprehension is an essential part of reading; without it, reading would have no meaning.  When teaching children to learn to read, an emphasis should be placed on comprehension.  One strategy that can be used to help children comprehend and understand what they read is summarization.  This lesson will introduce children to the steps of summarization.  The teacher will model the steps and the correct way to summarize, and then allow the students to practice on their own.

Materials:  a copy of the article "Hey, Bear…Beware" from Ranger Rick Magazine (Oct. 2002, Vol. 36, No. 10, pgs. 22-27) per child; a chart with Rinehart, Stahl, and Erickson's (1986) rules for producing summaries; a "map of passage" heuristic model handout per student (Berkowitz,1986 [see below]), dry erase board and marker, pencils, pointer, tape or sticky-tack


1. Introduce the lesson to students:  "Good morning, boys and girls.  Today we are going to read an article from Ranger Rick about some special dogs!  This is such a neat article, that I want to make sure you all understand it.  Good readers comprehend, or understand and remember, when they read.  Because I know all of you want to be good readers, we are going to practice a great way to help make sure you are comprehending when you read.  We will summarize the article after we read it.  Summarizing helps us remember the important information from a reading.  Let's get started. "

2. Introduce summarization strategy:  "First of all, I want to show you this chart.  I have made a chart with some rules that we will follow when we summarize (point to the rules with pointer as they are read). The first rule is to identify the main information.  This is the main idea or point of the article.  The second rule is to delete the information that is not important.  This helps us to focus on just the important information in the article.  The third rule is to delete repeated information.  Finally, the fourth rule is to relate the main ideas and the important details.  These details tell us important things about the main ideas."  (hang chart so it can be referred to during silent reading)

3. Practice with the strategy:  "Now that we have some rules to follow while we read, we're ready to practice.  I would like everyone to read the paragraph on page 23 silently.  Remember when we read silently we don't make any noise with our voices, but we still read to find the important things and put the message together.  Stop at the end of this paragraph, without turning the page.  Try out our new rules while you are reading!  Let's begin!"

4. Practice with mapping using a heuristic model:  After the students have read page 23, practice mapping the paragraph they just read.  "Ok, now that we have read this paragraph using our rules, let's record what we learned.  We are going to write it together on the dry erase board using a main idea map.  Since we only read one paragraph, let's find one main idea and some important details about the main idea.  But first we need to put the title of the article in the middle box (write title in a box in the middle of the board).  Now, who can raise their hand and tell me a main idea they found in this section? (get main idea suggestion and record in box adjacent to title box)  Good, now what are some important details about the main idea?" (record details under main idea in the same box).  Review the paragraph with the students identifying the title of the article, one main idea, and some important details.  Map on board should be similar to student handout on mapping, but with only the top right box filled in.

5. Silent Reading:  "Now that we have practiced reading and creating a summarization map, I am going to let you read the rest of the article silently to yourselves.  I want you to make sure you use our summarizing rules as you read.  You may look back at our chart if you need a reminder.  After you read, you will get to make your own summary map and list the main ideas from what you have read."

6. Creating maps:  After the children have read the remainder of the article silently, they will use the heuristic model handout to list four main ideas and important details.  The teacher will collect these handouts when completed for assessment.

7. Assessment:  For assessment, collect the maps created by the students for analysis.  Analysis of each of these maps should demonstrate the student's understanding of summarization, or lack thereof.


Pressley, Michael.  "Strategies That Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text."
    The Elementary School Journal  90.1  (1989):  3-31.

Starr, Kelly. "Simple Steps of Summarization." Auburn University, 2002.

Van Cleff, Cynthia.  "Hey, Bear…Beware!"  Ranger Rick Magazine.
    Oct. 2002, Vol. 36, No. 10:  22-27

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