Reading to Learn
Teaching Summarization
By, Jennifer Brooks

Rationale: "There is evidence that summarization training improves students' written responses to essay questions about a text." (Pressley) Training in summarization teaches students to delete unimportant facts and focus on a text's main points or ideas is a skill needed in many fields the students will encounter further in their education and work careers.

Materials:
Multiple copies of text So You Want To Be President?
Practice worksheets
Assessment Rubric
Power Point Access

Procedures:
1. I would first review definitions for a main topic, topic sentences, superordinate terms, supporting details, and  talk about book organization.
2. Then I would give a simple definition of summarization. (Taking a full text and changing it into simple, understandable sentences.)
3. Then, I would model for the students how to summarize using the book So You Want To Be President?
4. From the text that I selected to read, we would discuss what the main topic would be and what the supporting details would be.
5. We would go over the rules for summarization.
     1) Identify the main information
     2) Delete trivial information
     3) Delete redundant information such as information stated over and over.
     4) Relate the main topic to the supporting details.
6. I would then give the students two practice worksheets that reinforce how to find superordinate terms and another that would give practice with finding topic sentences and supporting details. (These are included at the end of the lesson plan)
7. Then I would divide the book So You Want To Be President?  into sections and give each student a section to summarize. They would be given time in class to use Power Point to present their findings to the class. Each student would be given a rubric that would explain what is expected for the Power Point presentation.

References:
Gutman, Dan. Babe & Me.  Harper Collins Publishers:  NY.  2000.

Robinson, Sharon. Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By.  Scholastic Inc:  NY.  2001.

St. George, Judith.  So You Want to Be President?  Philomel Books:  NY.  2000.
 
 

Practice Worksheet to practice finding superordinate terms:

Can you think of a word that classifies all of these words?
Ex. Baseball, baseball bat, baseball glove, helmet
Answer: baseball equipment

1. Cake, presents, decorations, party hats
2. Ruler, pencil, scissors, text books
3. Egg salad, peanut butter and jelly, ham, roast beef
4. Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas
5. X-Box, Play Station, Game Cube, Nintendo 64
6. Computer, television, VCR, radio, telephone
7. Lion, bear, armadillo, ostrich, moose
 
 

Practice Worksheet to practice finding topic sentences and supporting ideas:
(These could be redone to include graphics, etc.) 
Can you find a topic sentence and supporting ideas for each paragraph? 
 

     "Baseball is only a pastime, a sport, an entertainment, a way of blowing off steam. But it is also the national game, with an appeal to Americans of every race, color, creed, sex or political opinion. It unites Americans in the common cause of rooting for the home team."

Topic Sentence:
 
 

Supporting Ideas:
1.
2.
3.
 

     "This is the mystery: Did the Babe ‘call his shot’? or not? According to the legend, just before he hit that homer, Babe pointed to the centerfield bleachers and boldly predicted he would slam the next pitch there. I’ve played a lot of baseball. Maybe you have, too. Hitting a baseball is not easy. Hitting a baseball to one side of the field or the other on purpose is very hard. And saying you’re going to hit a home run on a specific pitch and to a specific part of the ballpark with the pressure on, well, that’s just impossible. A batter who calls a shot like that is either incredibly lucky, crazy, stupid, or gifted. Maybe all four."

Topic Sentence:
 

Supporting Ideas:
1.
2.
3.
 

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