It's a Peach of an Idea!
Rationale: The main goal of reading is
comprehension. Students can use many
strategies to comprehend written text.
One of the most important strategies for children to learn is
summarization. Summarization can be
defined as finding the most important information from a reading. To effectively summarize a text, students
must follow several rules: identify main
information, delete trivial and redundant information, and relate main
supporting ideas. This lesson is
designed to help students identify the main information in each chapter
book. During this lesson, students will
work together in literature groups and identify the main idea and
details of each chapter. They will use
this lesson to answer several comprehension questions each day. After the lesson, the students will be able
to effectively summarize a text and use the information to help
story. The students will understand the
importance and usefulness of summarizing and will be able to freely
when reading any text.
- Chalk and Chalkboard
- Class set of James and the Giant
Peach by Roald Dahl
- Peach diagram worksheets (1 per group
- Paper and markers for class books
(each group's rewrite of the story)
- Teacher checklist for each group
(listed in procedures)
- Introduce the lesson by explaining
what it means to summarize a text. "Since
we have all had plenty of practice sounding out words and recognizing
words from memory, we are going to practice on understanding what we
read. Understanding what we read is very
important. It helps us understand what
happens in a story, and it helps us relate the story to our own lives. We are going to practice summarizing a story. Summarizing means to find the most important
information in a story. Stories contain a
lot of information, and only some of it – the most important parts –
help us understand what happens. We are
going to practice finding the main idea and supporting details of that
main idea. Today when we try to find the
main ideas and supporting details, we must read silently to ourselves. Remember when we talked about reading silently? Let's review how to read silently. You pull out a book and read each page
silently to yourself. You do not talk to
anyone around you, and you do not read so the person next to you can
hear you. Watch me read silently." Teacher pulls out a book and sits at her desk
to read silently for a few seconds. "See,
that's how we read silently. Now, I want
you to pull out your library books and show me that you know how to
read silently." Students pull out books
and read silently until teacher tells them to stop.
- Teacher further explains main idea. "Okay, good. I'm
glad to see that everyone remembers how to read silently.
Now, remember the 5 W's we have been talking about in our
reading groups? When you are reading,
think about the 5 W's – who, what, when, where, and why.
Asking yourself these questions will help you find the main
idea. The main idea is usually one or two
sentences that say what the author is trying to tell us about something. It isn't usually a sentence that comes
straight from the reading; it is usually a sentence that you have to
come up with that summarizes what the reading is mainly about. Main ideas can be found in paragraphs,
chapters, or whole stories. The supporting
details are the most important details that go along with the main idea. Try to find 4 or 5 good supporting details
that go along with each main idea. They
can describe it, tell about it, or be events related to it. They back up what you say to be the main idea. Today, we are going to practice finding the
main idea and the supporting ideas in the chapters of James and the
Giant Peach by Roald Dahl."
- Teacher gives a book talk on the book. "This book is about a little boy named James. One day, James drops some magic crystals by an
old peach tree. After a few days, very
strange things start to happen. The peach
growing at the top of the tree starts getting bigger and bigger until
it is big enough for James to climb into. Then
one day the stem breaks with James still inside of the peach! What do you think will happen to James? (Students can make predictions).
We will have to read to find out!"
- Teacher models how to find main idea. "Now, I am going to split you into four groups
and give each individual a copy of the book. The
group you are in will be your literature group for the time we read and
discuss this book. Your group members will
be there to discuss the story with you and answer any questions you may
have." Teacher splits class into groups
and hands out a copy of the book to everyone. "Now
that everyone has a book, I am going to show you a model you can use
when finding the main idea and supporting details in each chapter.
(Teacher draws a giant peach on the board with a visible stem). The stem on this peach is where I am going to
put my main idea sentence. The area inside
the peach is where I am going to put my supporting details. Does everyone understand?
Okay, first I want to explain to you what we will be doing
with this book for the next few weeks. I
want you to read 2 chapters each week and meet with your literature
groups every Thursday. Each Thursday, I
want each group to pick up 2 peach worksheets just like mine and fill
it in to turn in to me. You should work
with your group to come up with a main idea and supporting details of
each chapter. I am going to have 2
comprehension questions about the chapters on the board each meeting. If you and your group have successfully
discussed the assigned chapter and have successfully filled in your
peach worksheets, then the questions should be no problem for you and
your group. The peach model is designed to
help you answer the questions. Now, to get
us started, I am going to read the first chapter aloud.
As I am reading, think about the 5 W's and use them to help
you come up with the main idea and some supporting details. When I am finished reading, I will need your
help to fill in the giant peach I have drawn on the board." Teacher reads the first chapter aloud (it is
very short – 3 pages long). When she is
finished, she gets the children to help her fill in the main idea and
several supporting details. She then asks
the children 2 questions to test their comprehension of the first
chapter (the questions will be based on the 5 W's and be related to the
main idea): What happened to James'
parents in London? What was the only thing James saw in his
aunts' garden? The teacher will call on
students to answer the questions and show them how it relates to the 5
W's and the main idea and supporting details the class came up with to
summarize the chapter. "Very good! I think you have the hang of it.
Now, I want everyone to read chapters 2 and 3 by next
Thursday and be prepared for the assignments."
- The students read 2 chapters a week
and get with their groups to discuss the story, fill in the peach main
idea worksheets, and answer the comprehension questions.
The teacher will walk around and assist as she is needed.
- For assessment, the teacher will take
up all the peach main idea worksheets each week to see if the groups
are successfully using the summarization strategy.
She will meet with any group that she feels needs help. Teacher will evaluate the worksheets using the
- Does the group have at least 1 main
idea sentence for each chapter that closely portrays what happens?
- Does the group have at least 3 good
- Do the supporting details actually
support the group's main idea?
Teacher will then have
to retell the story based on their diagrams that they used during their
meetings. They will rewrite each chapter
together, listing their main ideas and supporting details and drawing
illustration. Their rewrites will become
class books when they are finished.
Dahl, Roald. James
and the Giant Peach. New
Penguin Books USA Inc. 1961.
Pressley, Michael, et. al.
"Strategies that Improve Children's Memory and
Comprehension of Text." The
Elementary School Journal. Vol. 90,
No. 1. 1989. 3-29.
Misti. Summing it all up in a
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