Give Me the Facts!

Kathryne Clark

Reading to Learn


Comprehension is one of the most important things for children to learn when they are reading to learn. Summarizing text with children is an effective strategy to teach comprehension. This lesson will teach children how to summarize the information they read in order to find the important information from a text. Summarizing helps children understand what they have read and remember important details.

Copies of Team Rescues History from Hurricane Damage. Catherine Clarke Fox. National Geographic Kids News. October 13, 2005

 A poster with the guide lines listed below to summarize an article.
Guidelines:    Delete unimportant information
                        Delete repeated information
                        Substitute easy terms for lists of items

                        Add a series of events with an easy action term
                       Select a topic
                        invent a topic sentence if there is none.

Paper and pencils for each group


  1. Class, today we are going to talk about comprehension? Does anyone know what that means? I will wait for responses. Great! That is correct. Comprehension is when remember what we read and even remembering after we are done. I want our class to become wonderful at comprehending so we are going to learn a couple steps that make our reading easier to understand. One way to comprehend is by using a strategy called summarization. When we summarize, we are able to focus on the central parts of the story.
  2. Begin the lesson by handing out a copy of Team Rescues History from Hurricane Damage 10/13/05 , A National Geographic Kids News Article. “I want each of you to read this article silently in a few minutes. While reading, remember to follow along with the passage and re-read when necessary. Go ahead and begin reading the article now.”
  3. “Once everyone has finished, please look up at me so I will know you are done.
  4. “Now, boys and girls, we are going to practice summarizing what we have read so we can learn the important facts of the article.
  5. Summarizing means that we are going to pick out the main parts of the article we just read. When summarizing this article, we need to remember to do these important things:
  <>   .   Show Children poster with these important ideas to remember when summarizing on it:

 Delete unimportant information
 Delete repeated information
 Substitute easy terms for lists of items
 Add a series of events with an easy action term
 Select a topic
 Invent a topic sentence if there is none.

  1. By using these guidelines, it will make it easier for us to summarize this article.
  2. “We are now going to apply these steps to the article we just read. We are going to break up into groups of three and summarize the article. Model for the children how to find the main idea. Read through article out loud and find main idea together.
  3. I want one of you to read and the other two to stop the reader as you hear important details that define the meaning of the story, and I want the whole group to write it down.
  4. After we finish, I want for everyone in their groups to answer these questions: What is the main idea?
    Who are the main characters?
    Who or what is involved with this news story?
     What is the setting?
  5. After each group finishes, I will read all of the summaries to see that you answered all of the questions. We will then vote as a class on who answered each question the best.  We will allow the class to see the number of votes by displaying them on a checklist.  After we vote, we will write a large class summary and display that group summary and all our other group summaries on our Reading Bulletin Board.


Sarah Autrey, “Let’s Get the Facts”

Emily Cate Stewart, “summarizing What Counts”

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