Sum Up the Text

Grant Chaffin

Reading to Learn


Rational:  Now that children can read quickly and accurately it is time that we learn how to summarize.  Summarizing an article is a key part of reading for comprehension.  Summarizing is all about finding the main ideas, or important information in a selected text.  This lesson will teach students three key strategies that will help them in the summarizing process.






Model Article

List of summarizing steps

Get rid of useless information Pick out the important ideas in the text

Write "meaty" sentences that cover everything that is important in the text

Summarizing book mark for all the children



1.Children, today we are going to be learning a new skill that will make us much better comprehenders of what we read.  Comprehension is basically understanding what you read.  The comprehension skill that we are going to be working on today is summarizing.  Summarizing is a skill that we use when we read to cut out unimportant information that we read.  Once we have cut out the unimportant information that we have read all that is left is the very most important information.  Once we have found the most very important information, we want to take it and form sentences that cover the main, important, ideas that the text talked about.


2.So, how do we know what is the important information and what is not important.  Well, let me summarize an article and show you what kind of information is important in that article.  First, I will read the whole article.    


3.Once I have read the article all the way through I will go back and pick out the unimportant details and mark them out with a pencil, just incase I need to erase.  As I pick these unimportant details out I need to keep asking myself are these details important to the main idea of the story?  Then I will highlight the important ideas or the ones that are very important to understanding the story. 

  Example: Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide, twice as many as automobiles.  They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for such uses as children's toys, adult fitness, military and police applications, courier services and bicycle racing.


4. Once I have all of my important ideas highlighted or underlined I can put them together into one or two summarizing sentences. 

Summary sentence:  Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century have been very popular in many uses since then.


5. Give all the students a book mark with all of the summarizing steps on it




Have the students break up into groups and summarize an article from a periodical.  Then have them present it to the class.  Make sure you tell them, "Really narrow down the key ideas of the article.  Try to summarize the article in only one sentence.  I will be check that you mark out the unimportant ideas"



Bicycle article:


"Lets Summarize to Comprehend" by Jenilee Foukal


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