Reading to Learn
Sum it all
Rationale: After becoming
a fluent reader, and moving on to more lengthy reading material, it is
important to develop summarization skills. In learning how to
children will learn how to pick out important facts which will help
understand the text more clearly and deeply when recalling the story or
Materials: A copy of
and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl for each student, paper,
and a highlighter. Chalkboard and chalk.
- "Before beginning a new
lesson today, pull out Bridge to Terabithia.
Let’s review reading silently. I want you to open the book and
read the first paragraph on the first page by beginning with a
whisper. Then I want you to go from a whisper to just moving your
lips until no sound comes out."
- Teacher will discuss the
term summarization – the importance of picking important information
out of the text. "Summarization is a very powerful strategy to use when
reading. By summarizing, you are forgetting the trivial details
and focusing on the main parts, the most important information of the
text. Today we are going to learn how to summarize from the popular
book, James and the Giant Peach."
- Introduce book to
students by giving a book talk. "James accidentally drops some magic
crystals by an old peach tree and strange things start happening.
The peach begins growing and growing…and growing… until it is as big as
a house! James crawls inside and meets some friends, a grasshopper, a
centipede an earthworm and more… With a snip of the stem the peach
starts rolling away only to begin an adventure… Read James and the
Giant Peach to find out what happens on their adventure."
- Have children read the
first chapter silently. When done reading, write on the board
three important summarization steps:
- Delete trivial
- Delete redundant
- Form a topic sentence
from important information.
4. Have a question and
answer time by asking specific short answer comprehension questions
Who is the main character? What happened to James family? Who did
with as a result? What was his life like with them?
- Teacher will read aloud
the first page of Chapter one. Text is as follows:
HERE is James Henry Trotter when he
was about four years old. Up until this time, he had had a happy
living peacefully with his mother and father in a beautiful house
sea. There were always plenty of other children for him to play
there was a sandy beach for him to run about on, and the ocean to
paddle in. It
was the perfect life for a small boy. Then, one day, James mother
father went to London to do some shopping, and there a terrible thing
Both of them suddenly got eaten up (in full daylight, mind you, and on
crowded street) by an enormous angry rhinoceros
which had escaped from the London Zoo.
6. After reading,
go back through the paragraph and point out the important parts. Have
highlight them. "Look at the first sentence. Is it important that
remember the main characters full name- James Henry Trotter or just his
name James? His middle name and last name are trivial details that
going to be something we need to remember when reading this book.
James, because his name is something important we need to remember."
Continue through the paragraph discussing sentence by sentence what is
important. Weed through the trivial details.
- Have someone read first
paragraph of chapter two. Make two columns on the board-
IMPORTANT and NON-IMPORTANT. Call on students to go through
paragraph and list out the important things and trivial details as a
class. "By looking at the IMPORTANT column, who
can form one topic sentence to summarize the first paragraph? I want
each of you to write a topic sentence on your paper." Have
students share topic sentences.
children read the rest of Chapter two
silently. Have children write on paper a summary of chapter by
topic sentences from each paragraph.
- Assessment: Collect
children’s papers and read over summaries to make sure children have
grasped concept of summarization. Check for topic sentences and
important information. Take off one point for each trivial detail
and the Giant Peach. New York: Puffin Books, 1961.
Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia.
York: Harper Trophy, 1987.
Pressley, Michael. Strategies
Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text. The Elementary School Journal. Volume 90,
“Summing it all up in a Nutshell”
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