"Simple Steps to Sum It Up!"

 Reading to Learn Design

By: Rebecca Creecy


 

Rationale:  Comprehension is a very important aspect to teach children when they are learning how to read.  A great strategy to help children learn comprehension is summarization.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach children how to summarize using a series of steps.  In this lesson, I will model how to use the steps to summarization and then allow the children to practice on their own.         

 Materials:  Chalk, Chalkboard, Paper, Pencil, Sheet with the steps to summarization for each student:  1. Delete unimportant information, 2. Delete repeated information, 3. Substitute easy terms for lists of items, 4. Add a series of events with an easy action term, 5. Select a topic sentence, 6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none; A copy of the Tiger article for each student from the National Geographic Explorer for Kids magazine located at the following website:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1117_031117_tvbigcats.html#main

 Procedures:  

 1.      "Today we are going to learn a new strategy called summarization.  Summarization is picking out the facts that are important and that make up the main idea of the passage.  This strategy will help us to improve our comprehension skills.  Can someone raise their hand and tell me what the word comprehension means?  That's right!  Comprehension is being able to understand what we read."  


2.       "Now I am going to pass out a sheet to each of you that has a list of some steps that you can follow when summarizing a passage.  Let's all go through them together:   1. Delete unimportant information, 2. Delete repeated information, 3. Substitute easy terms for lists of items, 4. Add a series of events with an easy action term, 5. Select a topic sentence, 6. Invent a topic sentence if there is none."  I will ask them if they have any questions about any of the steps.  If they do we will discuss them more, if not I will continue.  

3.      "Now we are going to review silent reading.  Can someone raise their hand and tell me what it means to read silently?  Very good!  It means that we read to ourselves without making a sound.  Why do we read silently?  That's right, because it helps us to understand what we are reading."

4.      "Okay, now we are going to practice summarizing an article using the steps that we just talked about.  (Pass out the article).  I want you to read the first three paragraphs of you article silently.  As you are reading, remember to focus on the main ideas of the article."  


5.      "Now that you have finished reading the article, let's summarize the three paragraphs together.  The first step is to delete the unimportant information."  I will model one unimportant fact on the board to give them an example.  "The following information is not important to understand the article:  About 15 minutes west of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, just off Interstate 10, the Tiger Truck Stop keeps a 350-pound (160-kilogram) Siberian tiger named Tony.  We do not need this information to comprehend the story, so we can "delete" it from the paragraph.  Now, can someone raise their hand and tell me something else that they read that was unimportant."  I am going to write these examples on the board as they give them to me.  "Now let's look for repeated information.  Well, in these first three paragraphs there is no repeated information, so we can move on to the next step.  The next step is substituting easy terms for lists of items.  Can someone raise their hand and give me an example from the passage?  Good, now I want someone to raise their hand and tell me what they think would be a good topic sentence for the first three paragraphs of this article.  Very good, can someone else give me another example?  Great job!"  I would use step six if there were not a topic sentence that we could use from the passage.  


6.      "You have all done a great job of summarizing.  Now, I want you to try to summarize the rest of the article by yourselves.  Read the rest of the article silently.  Remember to pay attention to the main ideas."

7.     Assessment:  I will assess each student individually as they summarize the remainder of the article.  "While you are reading the article I want you to write down the important information on the left side of you paper and the unimportant information on the right side of your paper.  When you are finished, I want you to come up with your own topic sentence and write it down at the bottom of your paper.  I am going to take these up, so do the best that you can!"  I would read their papers and make sure that they were able to distinguish between unimportant and important information.  Then I would check to make sure that their topic sentence relates to the article.   


References:

http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/knightrl.html
 (Steps to Summarization! by, Sara Knight)

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