Reading to Learn
Rationale: Comprehension is one of the most essential aspects to teach children when they are learning how to read. Summarization is a great strategy for children to learn comprehension. This lesson is designed to teach children how to summarize through a series of steps.
Materials: chalk, chalkboard, paper, pencil, sheet with steps to summarization (one per student: 1. Delete unimportant information, 2. Delete repeated information, 3. Substitute easy terms for lists of items, 4. Add a series of events with an easy action term, 5. Select a topic sentence, 6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none), one copy for each student of Life in a Deep Freeze article from National Geographic Explorer for Kids!(can also be found in the November-December 2002 issue on pages 10-13 or on the internet- http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/0211/articles/mainarticle.html)
1. "Lets review the meaning of the word comprehension. Can anyone raise their hand and tell me what it means? Right! Comprehension is being able to understand what we read and remembering it. Today we are going to learn a strategy to help us improve our comprehension. This strategy is called summarization. Summarization is picking out the facts that are important and that make up the main idea of the passage."
2. Pass out the sheets with the steps to summarization and then explain them to the class. 1. Delete unimportant information, 2. Delete repeated information, 3. Substitute easy terms for lists of items, 4. Add a series of events with an easy action term, 5. Select a topic sentence, 6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none.
3. Now that you understand how to summarize, I want you to read the first three paragraphs of your article silently (remind students what silent reading is). As you read remember to pay attention to the most important information.
4. Summarize the three paragraphs together as a class. "Now we are going to use our steps to summarization strategy together. Raise your hand to tell me some of the unimportant information that you read about. I will write them on the board as you call them out. (Model two unimportant facts on the board to begin the list.) Now raise your hand and tell me the repeated information. (Once again, model two repeated facts of information for the students to begin the list.) Next we'll move on to step 3- lets substitute easy terms for lists of items (model by listing a few terms to begin the list). Raise your hand and tell me give me some terms. Step 5 is next. I want someone to tell me what they think would be a good topic sentence for the first three paragraphs of this article (encourage several students to give their suggestions.) (Use step six if there is not a topic sentence that you can use from the passage)."
5. "Now that we have learned our strategy and used it together, I want you to summarize the rest of the article individually. Read the rest of the article silently. Don't forget to pay attention to the most important details."
6. I will individually assess each student as they summarize the remainder of the article. "As you read the rest of the article I want you to write down the most important details on one side of your paper and the unimportant details on the other. Finally, form your own topic sentence and write it down on your paper also. I will take these up, so do your very best!"
References: Pressley, Michael. "Strategies That Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text." The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90, number 1. 1989.
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