Froggy for Reading



Reading to Learn Lesson

By Amanda Talley




Rationale: We read to understand and comprehend. To do this, we must use strategies such as summarizing. Throughout this lesson, students will learn the rules for summarization and practice them.



1. Poster with the following summarization rules to display in front of the class:

. Delete unimportant information.

. Delete repeated information.

. Organize items and events under one umbrella term.

. Select a topic.

. Write a topic statement that covers everything that is important from the text.   

2. One poster of the article on American Bullfrogs from National Geographic Kids:

3. Copies of “Frogs,” from the National Wildlife Federation (1 per student):

4. Pencil and Highlighter (1 of each per student)

5. Dry erase board and marker or Chalkboard and chalk (1 for teacher use)

6.  Summarization checklist (1 per student):


Did the student…



Delete unimportant information?



Delete repeated information?



Organize items under one umbrella term?



Select a topic?



Write an inclusive yet simple topic sentence to summarize the passage?





1. Say: “Today, students, we will learn how to summarize. Does anyone know what it means to summarize? (wait for students to answer) When we summarize, we look for the important parts of a passage and what point the author is trying to make. This helps us to better understand and remember what we read!“


2. Display the five rules of summarization for all students to see. Say: “Now we are going to learn the rules for summarization. “ Review with the students each rule and explain them in detail. “Now we are going to put these rules into action. First, I want you all to read this paragraph about the American Bullfrog to yourselves. Once you are finished, we are going to summarize the paragraph together.“ Allow time for students to read the paragraph.


3. Next, model for the students how to use the summarization rules. “Follow along as I read the paragraph aloud. Remember, our first rule says to delete any unnecessary information. ‘If you've ever checked a pond for tadpoles and saw huge six-inch beasties, they were likely young American bullfrogs. Like all tadpoles, bullfrog tadpoles live in the water.’ We can delete ‘If you've ever checked a pond for tadpoles and saw huge six-inch beasties, they were likely’ and ‘like all tadpoles’ because this information is not critical for us to know.” Mark out the unnecessary information and do the same for all unnecessary information to follow. “‘They face many predators, including fish, snakes, and birds. As they grow, the torpedo-shaped tadpoles sprout legs and lose their tails.’ Here, we can delete ‘including fish, snakes, and birds,’ as well as ‘the torpedo-shaped tadpoles.’ ‘In two to four years, the tadpoles emerge from the water as fully-formed bullfrogs.’ In the last sentence we can delete ‘the tadpoles emerge from the water as,’ because this information is not critical to the authors point.” Highlight the important information. “We are now left with the information ‘young American bullfrogs; tadpoles live in the water; face many predators; two-to-four years until fully formed bullfrog.’” We did not have any repeated information in this paragraph, so we did not have to worry about that rule. Our umbrella term is, ‘young American Bullfrog.’ The next step is for us to decide a topic for our summary. I suggest ‘American Bullfrog tadpole,’ because that is what the paragraphs focus is. Last, we need to come up with a topic sentence that recaps the entire paragraph. This would be, ‘The American bullfrog, begins as a tadpole which lives in water where it faces many predators until it matures into a bullfrog after two-four years.’” Write the topic sentence on the board for all students to see.”


5.”Now we are going to practice summarizing with a different article.” Give a book talk on the article. “Squirrel Monkeys are usually color-blind, but some scientist wanted to see if they could change that. To find out what they did to help the monkeys see in color, you will have to read Two Monkeys See a More Colorful World.” Pass out a copy of the article to each child. “I want you to read this article to find out how these monkeys could see colors, and then you a going to summarize it. As you are reading, remember to cross out any information that is not super important to the main idea, or information that is repeated. Highlight the sentences that are important to the main idea of the article. When you are finished, you will write one topic sentence summarizing the most important information from the article. Show all of your ideas by marking and highlighting your paper, and then turn in your article and topic sentence to me when you are done.

 5. “I am now going to pass out to you all an article to learn more about frogs. After reading the article, go back through it using the summarization rules. Remember to cross out any information that is not important to the main idea of the article or any information that is repeated throughout the article. Highlight sentences or parts that are important to the article. When you have done this, write a topic sentence that summarizes the most important ideas from the article.”


Assessment: Students will turn in their topic sentences for review. I will use the summarization checklist to assess their sentences. After reviewing them, I will meet with each student to discuss his/her work.



 National Geographic Kids. Creature Features: American Bullfrogs.


Kranking, Kathy. “Frogs.” National Wildlife Federation.


Jessica Strickland. “Summarizing Monkey Business.”



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