No Sloppy Summaries

Reading to Learn

By: Morgan Warner


Summarization is a very important part of reading comprehension and reaching future reading goals. It is taking all the information and presenting it in a more compact form. The five parts of summarization are deleting unimportant information, delete repeated information, substitute long information for a list, substitute a series of events with one easy action term, and select/invent a topic sentence. This lesson will go through all of these steps.


- Book: Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 1972.

- Book: Keane, Dave. Sloppy Joe. Harper Collins Childrens Books, New York, 2009.  

- Pencil and paper

- 5 Note cards with the steps leading to summarization on each card

- Construction Paper

- Colored Pencils or Markers


1. Introduce what a summary is and explain the five steps of summarization using the note cards. Say, “Okay we are going to talk about what a summarization is. Lets look at our summarization cards and see what they say. (Read all the steps placed on the cards). Now we are going to try to do this with a book that we have already read. Follow along with me students using the book, The Bad Case of Stripes.”

2. Now go through the book and point out the important information and follow the five steps that are listed on the note card. Have the student follow along while you fill out on a piece of paper, the points of a summarization that are important to include.

3. Say, “Okay, now that we have read The Bad Case of Stripes, and come up with a summary, I want you to do one all by your self. Read the book Sloppy Joe and use the five note cards to make a summary on your piece of paper.” Make sure that the student knows what to write and where to write the summary.

4. Give the student a copy of the book, and give him or her time to read and come up with a summary. Remind the student to use their note cards to follow on what is important in a summary.

5. Assessment: After the summary is made, give the student construction paper and markers. The student then must draw a picture that displays the summary in a creative way.  The student must then write the summary sentence below the picture they draw. Use this construction paper as the assessment and grade using a rubric that follows the rest of your classroom instruction.


Where to buy the book Sloppy Joe:

Where to buy the book A Bad Case of Stripes:

Similar Summary Lesson:

Similar  Summary Lesson:

Steps to Making a Summary:

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