Catch those Butterfly Facts!

Reading to Learn

Erin Dyle



            One necessary goal of reading is comprehension. When children approach the late elementary school years, comprehension becomes significant to understanding text that is read. The goal of comprehension is to be able to read and study a text and recall it later  One way a student can attain comprehension is by using the tool of summarization. Summarization can be a very hard concept to grasp until one is taught the skill. In this lesson I will model and guide the class through the 3 basic steps of summarization, which are: delete information that is not important or repeated, highlight the important and necessary details by using key words or headings, and find a topic sentence that covers the main idea and if there is not a topic sentence than make one. I hope that as they acquire these rules then they will be able to comprehend any type of text.



∙A class set of the book, “The Butterfly Alphabet Book” by Brian Cassie and Jerry Pallota.  Illustrated by Mark Astrella

∙2 pieces of paper for each student




∙A bookmark with the 3 summarization rules:1) delete information that is not important or repeated 2) highlight the important and necessary details by using key words or headings 3) and find a topic sentence that covers the main idea and if there is not a topic sentence than make one

∙An enlarged semantic map



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 being able to apply it after we are done. I want our class to become wonderful at comprehending so we are going to learn a few things that will make our reading easier to understand. One way to comprehend is by using a strategy called summarization. When we summarize, we are able to concentrate on the main parts of a text.   To guide or summarization we are going to use the 3 steps and a story map.

2.  Now I will explain summarization. Before I start, I will pass out the bookmarks. I will have them read aloud summarization on the bookmark so we can make sure we are all paying attention. 3 steps help us summarize our text so that we can remember what it says. These 3 steps are:

I will have already written these on the board so that I can refer to them as we read them. You will also have this bookmark as a reference.


3.  Now I am going to hold up a copy of the book. Class, here I am passing out the book The Butterfly Alphabet Book.  Before you think it’s childish, this book goes from A-Z with butterflies and tells us information about each one.  It also covers the Life-Cycle of the butterfly.  I want you to read about each butterfly silently.   How do we read silently? I will wait for their answers. That is correct when we read silently we are reading to ourselves. We don’t bother our neighbor we just read to ourselves and you may get in a comfortable position. I like to sit crisscross when I read like this.. I will now model how to read silently. I will hold the book in front of me and allow my eyes to follow the words. I also might read by moving my mouth to read the words but not make any sound. Class this is how I want you to read also. I want everyone to read the first 4 butterflies  of this and the Life-cycle on pages 12-13 and when you are finished I want you to put our head on your desk so that I can know you are done. Remember as you read you are using your steps of summarization.  DO NOT rush through, read for information.

4.  As they are reading I will walk around the class. I now see that everyone has their head on their desks so we are now going to use a semantic map to summarize the important information. Can someone tell me what the main topic is? I will wait for an answer and as we talk about this I will be using the enlarged semantic map. That is correct the main topic is Butterflies; so I am going to write in the circle in the middle. I will answer questions if there is any and write what they say. “Now let’s name the 4 butterflies  you read.  (I will place each butterfly in circles coming from the center)? I want important information. I did not ask or everything the horse did throughout the article, I just want key information. I will wait for responses. Wonderful. These are key words about these butterflies  so you are to write them branching off the circle to the butterfly they belong to. Can everyone see what I am doing? Now that we did the first part together I want you to expand on the lifecycle.  Then I want you to read the whole book. When you are finished reading I want you to make a semantic map and then use it to write a summary.. Remember to keep only the important information. Refer to the board and your bookmark if you have questions. I will also be here to help if needed.  I will get them to start and I will walk around to make sure that everyone is on task.


5.  For assessment I will take up their semantic map and summaries of the book. I will also be walking around monitoring their work. I will be checking their work by using the bookmark to see if they have the correct information and see if they used their rules.


*Cassie, B. Pallota J. and Astrella M.  “The Butterfly Alphabet Book”, 1995

*Autrey, Sara.  Reading Genie Website. 

*Pressley, Michael. et al. (1989). “Strategies that Improve Children’s Memory and Comprehension of Text.” The Elementary Journal. Vol. 90, Number 1. University of Chicago, Illinois. Pages 90. 3-32.

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