Let’s Get to the Point
A Model Lesson Design by: Debbie Troha
Reading to Learn

Rationale: This lesson models summarizing text and provides students with the opportunity to summarize what they are reading.  When a student is able to summarize a text they capture the meaning of the story.  This demonstrates their comprehension strategies.

Materials:  copies of Jamestown, New World Adventure by James E. Knight(or any book of your choice, I chose this one because it had a lot of factual information.), string, clothespins, markers, access to chalkboard, poster with rules of summarizing (rules are provided in the procedure)
1. Find the parts of the story that would not affect it if they were left out.
2. Get rid of any information that is used more than once.
3. Find the important events in the story and use a keyword to remember them.
4. Write what this book was about in one sentence.

Procedure:  1.)  Begin lesson by distributing copies of  Jamestown, New World Adventure by James E. Knight.  Have students read the book silently in the group or at their desk so they can read at their own pace and understanding.  “We are going read silently because it gives to practice to read more efficiently.”
2.) Attach a rope or string across the front of the classroom and hang index cards on it with clothespins.
3.) Direct students’ attention to the front of the room.  Explain, “Today we are going to learn how to summarize a story.  When you summarize you are finding the authors main points and supporting facts.”  Have prepared poster with the six rules of summarization and use child like language to review them with children.
· Find the parts of the story that would not affect it if they were left out.  Take that information out of your memory bank.  Provide an example of information that is not important to the story.
· Let’s get rid of any information that was used more than once.  Provide an example from the book of redundant information.
· Now let’s find the important events in the story and use a keyword to help us remember them.  Provide an example and then call on students to name key words and list them on the board.
· To find a series of events we need to make sure our key words are listed in the order the events took place in the story.  Rewrite list if needed to put key terms in the correct story sequence.  Now let’s think of actions that go with these important words we have listed.  Provide an example and then call on children to help think of actions associated with the list of key terms.  Briefly list these actions to the right of the terms.
· Now if you had to write what this book was about in one sentence how would you do that?  Help and model finding a topic sentence.
· Sometimes if the topic sentence isn’t in the book you will have to create one yourself.  Model how to do this.
4.) “We have just gone through the steps to summarize our story and now we need to put this important information in a paragraph form.”  Model and have class collectively help write a summary.
5.) As a conclusion of the activity for fun, help the students make a picture summary.  Use the information from the summary you just prepared and allow students to draw a picture for each main idea.  Hang them across the board on the string.
6.) Review the summary of the story by calling on one student to read the summary aloud and another to follow the picture story line.
7.) For an assessment, in a different subject later in the day have them read a section silently from their basal and tell them to write a summary about that article.

Reference:  Pressley, Michael “Strategies That Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text”  The Elementary School Journal Volume 90, Number 1 

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