Blair Brewer
Reading to Learn
Summarize This!
Rationale:  Reading to learn is what all children eventually learn to do.  This concept should be practiced by reading a passage and then summarizing it.

Material:  Non-fiction books (Science book), pen, paper, Discovery magazine.  Holt Science Book, 1989.

1. Get out your science book and read pages 10-15 about alligators and crocodiles.  You read silently to be able to read at their own pace.  You can read fast over trivial details and slower over important facts.
2. Before beginning to read, I will discuss with the class what they already know about alligators and crocodiles.
3. Read the pages I have assigned.
4. When finished I would like for you to draw a Venn Diagram.  (Show the class what a Venn Diagram is and I will explain what you do.)  The Venn diagram compares and contrasts the two animals.
5. When finished doing that, I would like for you to summarize what you wrote.
6. I will model summarization (I will read a small paragraph in a Discovery magazine and summarize it.  The magazine article is on the planets.  There are nine planets in our solar system.  Earth is the third planet in the solar system.  As far as we know, we are the only planet with life on it.  This is how you summarize something.  You just hit on the important parts of what you read.

Assessment:  Have the students summarize the article on a piece of paper.

Reference:  Holt Science.  Rhinehart and Winston, Inc. 1989.  p. 312-315.
Discovery Magazines.
Pressley, M., Johnson, C.J. Symons., McGoldrick, J.A. (1989) Strategies that Improve  Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text. “The Elementary School  Journal.” 90, 3-32.

Click here to return to  Insights