Reading to Learn
Ashley Clanton
“Mapping Out the Story”


Rationale: As students begin to read more and more they come in contact with unfamililar concepts and new vocabulary.  Students must develop comprehension strategies to apply the new and unfamiliar concepts.  An important comprehension strategy is Summarization.  Students will learn to take note of important information in the passages they read condense this information into a few sentences.

Materials: Regions Near and Far, Heath Social Studies (grade 4 textbook); notebook paper; pencil

 1. “Okay, class today we are going to open our Social Studies books to Chapter 4.  We are going to be reading about Indians.  Before we start reading I want to review the topic sentence and main ideas from our lesson last week.  Remember we talked about the one sentence that sums up the passage.  This is the topic sentence.  The topic sentence is supported by main ideas that can also be found in the passage.  We will be using the main ideas to learn how to create a summary of Chapter 4.”
 2. “ Now I want everyone to read Chapter 4 silently.  After you have finished reading, look up so I will know you are finished.”
 3. When the class is finished reading, I will ask them to take out a piece of notebook paper and a pencil.  “Class, now that we have finished reading we are going to make a map of Chapter 4.  This map will help us pick out the main ideas of the chapter.  First I want everyone to write Indians in the center of your paper and put a circle around it. (I will be demonstrating this on the chalkboard as the students do it at their desks.) Now I want you to think about important details that you read about the Indians in Chapter 4.  Look back in the passage to help you create your map.  I want you to find about 4 to 6 details you think are important and draw them each in a small circle.  Be sure to write a short sentence about each detail inside the circle.  Then, draw a line like this from your center circle out to each important detail.  This creates a map of what you have read.”  The teacher will walk around the room to make sure students are looking back in the passage to find the important points.
 4. After the students finish, the class will discuss what they thought was important in the chapter.  The teacher will finish the map on the chalkboard during this discussion as new important points are brought up.
 5. Now that I feel everyone understands, I will ask the students to make their own map of the next chapter.  I will collect these maps and check to make sure each student is getting the idea.

Reference: 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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