Summarization Squids


Reading to Learn

By: Collier Daniel


            Comprehension is very important when it comes to students understanding a story. It is important for students to learn how to comprehend stories early in reading education. There are various strategies when it comes to gaining meaning and knowledge from text. One specific strategy is summarization. Summarization is child’s ability to erase insignificant facts and repeat information, place events in order, and create a sentence that contains the meaning the writer is trying to communicate through the text. By providing students with the necessary skills to construct summaries, they will be better equipped to interpret and convey the information gained from assigned readings.

Materials:,6260,1593312,00.html. April 16, 2007.


1. “Today we are going to talk about comprehension and some skills we can use that will help us comprehend even better. Does anyone one what comprehend means?” Students will respond, record answers. “When we comprehend an idea or information, it means we understand the information and that particular thought. When we comprehend while we are reading we understand what we are reading and we can remember the information after we are finished reading. The skill we are going to talk about today is called summarization. Can anyone tell me what summarization is?” Students will respond, record answer. “To summarize a story is to pick out the most important information. I have some tips that will help you remember how to summarize.”


2. Now that I have introduced summarization, I will give the students some extra tips that will help them remember how to summarize. These tips will already be written on a poster so students may refer back to these tips throughout the year. “When we summarize a story we pick out the important information and highlight it with our pencil. We are highlighting with our pencil so we may go back and erase the highlight in case we realize information is not important. Then we will throw away the information that is not important. If it helps, you may draw a line through the unimportant information. We also want to throw away the information that is repeated. Next, we want to organize our information and pick our key words. We will choose a topic sentence that will be the basis for all of our information. If we cannot find a topic sentence, we will make up a sentence that includes most of the information. I know this is a lot to remember so look at out Tip poster in case you forget.


3. Now, we are going to practice summarizing some stories. Before we start, I want to tell you a little bit about our science article. We have been talking about ocean and the different creatures that live in the ocean so I think you will like this article. In New Zealand on February 21, fishermen caught something in the ocean that maybe the largest ever recorded. However, in order to find out all of the details you must read the article. We are going to read the first two paragraphs silently. This means we read to ourselves and do not talk to our neighbors. We want to let everyone focus on reading. Remember while you are reading to find the important information and throw away the unimportant information.”


4. After a few minutes, I will guide students through the steps of summarizing the first paragraph on the board. “Ok boys and girls, what were some things you decided were important in the first paragraph.” Allow students to respond. Write down all responses then ask the class, “Does everyone agree that these statements are important?” Allow the students to talk about what they consider unimportant and important. “You guys are doing an awesome job trying to remember the important facts.” Model what you found was important and model what is not important in the paragraph. “Ok classes, now that I have found the important facts and thrown away the unimportant facts, what do I do next?” Students respond. “That’s right; we need to write a topic sentence.” Have the students help you write your topic sentence. The topic sentence should be made from important facts and key words. “Ok so our topic sentence is New ZealandAntarctic Ocean. Ok now that we have written our topic sentence, we will just focus on important information. We will not create sentence again that covers the whole story. These steps are written on the board for you and to help you.” fishermen caught a record breaking squid in the


5. “Does anyone have any questions? Do we all understand how to summarize? If you have a question ask a neighbor or look back at the board and the things we have written today. Now, I want everyone to read the rest of the article. Remember we can highlight or underline important information and cross out unimportant information as we read. If you finish reading before everyone is finished please sit quietly at your desk or reread the article to make sure you have completed our summarizing steps.”


6. Allow each student to complete the article. “Is everyone finished reading? Great! Now let us take out a piece of notebook paper and summarize the article. Everyone may write down our topic sentence since we did that as a class.” List the rules for students again. “Remember we are going to pull out the important information, throw away the unimportant or repeated information, organize the important information and create statements underneath our topic sentence.” The students will complete this task. I will walk around to help any students that need it.


            I will assess the students’ summarizations to see if they understand this concept. I will look for the students’ ability to pick out important information, throw away unimportant information and repeated items and create a topic sentence as well as create statements that follow the topic sentence.


Assessment checklist:

Students meet requirements

Students do not meet requirements

Students are able to pick out important details



Students are able to delete less important ideas



Students are able to delete repeated information



Students are able to highlight important information with key words



Students are able to pick out topic sentence



If topic sentence is not provided, students are able to create topic sentence based on important information and key words.





 Fleming, Stephanie. Summarization Superstars.


 Iasevoli, Brenda. “One Big Squid!” Time for Kids.,6260,1593312,00.html. April 16, 2007.

 Mosley, Meredith. Super Duper Summarizer.


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