Reading to Learn

Whooz-z-z Can Summarize
Mary Rouse

Rationale:  As children become more fluent and accurate readers, it is important to begin teaching them comprehension and recall skills.  ãA single reading of an expository text never permits recall of all of the information in the passage, but mature readers often can remember the most important information.  They remember the gist- trivial details are forgotten; generalizations are made that sum up lines of argument in the prose.ä  (Pressley et. al.  5) Summarization is an important skill to teach maturing readers.  This lesson will teach students how to summarize an article by reading fast over details and reading slow over important facts.  This lesson will also demonstrate how an outline of an article can help summarize as well.

Materials: "Whooz-z-z Snooz-z-zing?" articles in Ranger Rick, paper, pencils, chalkboard, chalk

1. How many of you have read a whole article or book and when asked to explain it have a hard time remembering what it is about?  The ability to say in a few words or sentences what a whole article or book is about is called summarization.  Today we are going to read and summarize an article in Ranger Rick.
2. (Pass out Ranger Rick magazines)  Everyone turn to page three.  We are going to read ãWhooz-z-z Snooz-z-zing?ä  Raise your hand if you would like to guess what this article is going to be about.  (children respond)
3. I would like everyone to read this article silently to yourself.  Silent reading is important because people can read at their own pace.  You can read fast over trivial details and read slow over important facts.  If you come across a word that you do not know what it means than stop reading and look it up in the dictionary.
4. There is a lot of information in this article.  There is no way that a person can memorize everything presented in this article by reading it just a few times.  It is important when summarizing to pick out the most important information presented by leaving out the trivial details.  An example of a trivial detail would be ãBaby wrens will not tip over when they sleep because their toes lock on to branches during this time.ä  Although this is an interesting fact, it is not one of the main points that the author is trying to make.  Can someone raise their hand and read another example of a trivial detail in the article.  (children respond)
5. To help us summarize this article we are going to make an outline on the board with the Title and Subheadings.  Who can explain to me what a subheading is?  Who can tell me the title?  What is the first subheading?  Continue writing outline on the board·  How do you think an outline can help us summarize an article?  (Children respond)
6. Assessment:  I would like everyone now to get out a piece of paper and a pencil.  We are going to write a brief paragraph summarizing what this article is about.  Remember when summarizing it is important to leave out the trivial details and just put the main points the author is trying to make.  Concentrate on writing a short and concise paragraph but do not leave out any main points.

Reference:  Pressley, M., Johnson, C. J., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J. A., & Kurity, J. A. (1989).  Strategies that improve children's memory and comprehension of text.  The Elementary School Journal, 90, 3-32.

Churchman, Deborah & Lambeth, Ellen (Nov. 2000). Whooz-z-z Snooz-z-z-zing? Ranger Rick, 3-9.

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