Sum It UP!

Reading to Learn

Brittany Ballard

Rationale: Comprehension is an important goal in reading instruction, and summarization is a skill that helps students learn to read for comprehensionIn this lesson students will learn what summarization means and how to summarize the story being read.



1.     Delete unimportant information.

2.    Delete repeated information.

3.    Highlight important details in the story using key words.

4.    Select a topic.

5.    Invent a topic sentence if there is not one.



1.     I will begin the lesson by discussing what summarizing is and why it is so important to reading.  "Can anyone tell me what the word summarize means?  The word summarize means to take out the main points in a passage and put them together to create a summary.  A summary is a description of the main points in the story. We are going to learn more about summarizing today in class.


After explaining what it means to summarize, I will go over the five components needed when summarizing that is written out on the chart paper. The students will then be given their own checklist with the five components on it for the students to look at when summarizing a story.

3.    Next, I am going to model to the class how to use their summary checklists. (Each will be given an article). "Let's look at the article called "Animal Survivors" and use our checklist."  I will read the article out loud to the class then ask questions. "What details are important in this article?  Good, The condors, rhinos and tamarins almost became extinct animals! " I will allow the students to go through the article and look for important pieces and I will highlight what the students point out as important information.  "Now what can we cross through in here that's not really needed or is said more than once?"  I will find one first and then ask the students if they see any more as I cross them out.  "What are some important key words in here?  What about survivor?"  Students, again, will continue as I demonstrate.  "Alright, now what is the topic sentence in this article?  Is there one?  What do we do if there isn't one?  Right, we create one. Good job class!"


4.    "Now that we know all about summarizing, let's take a look at this article called, "Our Giant Footprints". (Students will have their own copy). I want you all to read it silently to yourself and as you read through it, I want you to use your checklists to create a summary for the article."


5.    Students will then individually go through and read their articles and      summarize them using their checklists.


6.    When students are done going through and summarizing, I will take volunteers to share their summarizes with the class.


I will assess the students based on their completion of the activity and the accuracy of their summaries that they share.



The Sum Of It All by Christy Turner:

 Time for Kids: Animal Survivors:,27972,1926226,00.html

Time for Kids: Our Giant Footprints:,27972,1730228,00.html


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