Mapping Out Summarization

Annette Lombardi

Lesson Design for Learning to Read


RationaleIn the journey of learning to read, one of the last key concepts is learning to summarize.  It is vital for students to posses the skills needed to separate the important ideas from the text that they read.  In this lesson through a review of silent reading, going over the steps of summarizing text, and teaching how to draw out maps of the key ideas, students will be set on the path to become successful readers and learners.

Materialspencils and paper for each student, the book "Who Was Thomas Jefferson?" written by Dennis Brindell Fradin and published by Grosset & Dunlap in July 2003, enough copies for your classroom of the article Land Deal in the November/December 2003 issue of National Geographic Explorer! children's magazine, and an assessment checklist (with the points mentioned below).

My checklist would include the points:


Read the steps out loud as well as writing them on the board.

      1. Delete unimportant information
      2. Delete repeated information
      3. Replace lists of items with easier words or terms
      4. Add a series of events with an easy action term
      5. Select a topic sentence
      6. If there is no topic sentence, create one


           Go over each of steps with your class, and ask for questions.

    1. Next share with your students that a great way to show what they have learned through their summarizing skills is a map or a web.  Start off by telling them that the first step in creating a map is to write the main idea or topic sentence in the middle of their paper with a circle around it.  On another part of the board, write Thomas Jefferson and circle it.  Then share that to make it a map of ideas we next draw lines coming out from the circle with important ideas attached to them.  Show this on the board by writing Third President, Louisiana Purchase, and Monticello around his name with lines connecting them. 
    2. Then pick up and introduce the book "Who Was Thomas Jefferson?", you can do this by reminding your students he was the third president, and other facts.  Then read a few pages of the book.  Show the students how to use the steps of summarizing when you go back over the pages you read.  Then once you have separated the important information, go over to the board again and add some more ideas around Thomas Jefferson that you have just pulled from the text.
    3. Hand out copies of the article Land Deal from National Geographic Explorer! Encourage the students to use the skills they have just learned in order to summarize the article.  Then once they have practiced those, to create a map of the ideas they have chosen from the reading that they think are important.  Walk around the classroom and assist the students as needed.

Assessment:  Take up your student maps once they have completed them.  Look over them and use the checklist to make sure they have an understanding of the concept of summarizing. 

Reference: (kids section). 

Murray, Bruce.  The Reading Genie Website.

Dean, Lindsay.  The Reading Genie Website.   "Summarization Mapping"

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