Reading to Learn
need to learn strategies that will aid them in comprehension.
Children must be able to focus on the main ideas of the passage in
order to increase comprehension. Summarizing is one strategy that
children can use to increase comprehension. Explicit instruction
is needed to help children read and recall information on what they
have read. They need to be taught how to eliminate the “trivial
facts” to focus on the bigger picture. They need to know what
information is unnecessary or less important. They should learn
to substitute super ordinate terms for a list of items and create a
topic sentence. If these strategies are implemented, children
will be able to become better readers and be able to better summarize
x 12” squares of poster board
of “Freaky Frogs” article from National Geographic Kids(National
Geographic Explorer- http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/0403/articles/mainarticle.html) for each
for each student- with following:
easy words for lists of items
a series of events with an easy action term
a topic sentence if there is already not one.
lesson can begin by discussing what summarizing is and why it is
important to the reading process. Ask the class, Can anyone tell
me what it means to summarize? Tell them that the word summarizes
means to take out the main points in a text and put them together go
create a summary. A summary will describe the main points in the
text. When reading a text, you will summarize by mentally
deleting the less important facts and making note of the important
events. Can anyone give me an example summary of a story they
have recently read? Give the students a chance to respond. Now I
will give you all an example summary of a book we have just read.
(Summarize a story that has been recently read in class) Have any
of you tried to summarize after reading? This can often be
helpful when trying to understand a story or prepare us for a
test. Today, we are going to learn more about summarizing.
But before we begin, lets review how we read silently.
we read silently, we read quietly to our selves, asking ourselves
questions as we read. Today we are going to read an article about
Frogs. The article is called “Freaky Frogs.” Can anyone
guess what this article might be about? (Give students a chance
to respond) Does anyone know any facts about frogs? There are
many different kinds of frogs, even kinds that smell! Did you
know that some frogs are becomming extinct? Now we are going to
read part of the article together. Then we will go back and pick
out the important parts. So, Let's makes sure to pay attention
while reading. ( Excerpt of Article): "Frogs are found on every
continent on except Antartica. Some live in cities, deserts,
mountains, or grasslands. But most prefer we areas. The
wetter, the better. They really like ponds, marshes, and
rain forests. Frogs like wet areas for many reasons. They
lay their eggs in water. They find their favorite meals- flies,
snails, worms, and other tasty treats- there as well. They also
find protection in water. A frog can hid from birds and other
predators by darting under a nearby leaf or swimming underwater."
Now lets discuss together some of the important facts of what we just
read. This will help us to form a topic sentence or
summary. Let students respond with the important facts- frogs
live everywhere except one continent, frogs like to live in water
because they find their food there along with protection and they lay
their eggs in water. Now we will come up with a topic sentence
for what we just read: Frogs are found everywhere on earth except
Antartica. They prefer wet areas because they lay their eggs in
water, find their meals, and hide from their predators. Now that
we have practiced together, You are going to read the article silently
to yourself. While you are reading the article, I want you to pay
attention to what the text is telling you. Once you have finished
reading, we will practice summarizing and find the main points of the
- Okay, now that
you have read the article and know what summarizing means, we can learn
the six steps of summarizing. (Record on chart paper) 1.
Delete unimportant information.
2. Delete repeated information.
3. Substitute easy words for lists of items.
4. Add a series of events with an easy action term.
5. Select a topic.
6. Invent a topic sentence if there is not one.
It is important to delete unimportant information that we may be
distracted by. This will help us to focus on the main points of
the article. Deleting repeated information is important because
it rids the article or reading selection of extra information that we
already know. When we substitute easy words for lists of items,
we are able to shorten the amount of information we have to
remember. For example, we may want to remember a list such as
chickens, cows, horses, eggs, pigs, and sheep. We may want to
simplify this list by calling it Farm Animals. We can place each
of these animals under the topic of Farm Animals to help us recall
them. We can add a series of events with an action term to help
us recall a passage as well. Then we can select a topic of the
events in our passage and create a topic sentence that describes the
passage we have read.
talk about what you read in the article together. I am going to
draw a picture on the chart paper. This drawing is called a
web. Webs help us organize our information and understand what we
know. Remember to look at the summary checklist on our other
chart. Where do I put the main topic on our web? (the
middle) Very good! What should I put in the middle of the
web? (frogs) Very nice! Who can give me a main point
from the article on frogs? Call upon the students and record
their comments on the web. Explain that we should be able to
create a paragraph that summarizes the entire article. You can
use the web to help you create your summary by using some of the facts
that have been listed. Each section on our web can be used to
create a sentence to help create a short paragraph.
- Now I will have
the children work in groups of 2. Pass out the poster board
squares, individual checklists, and markers to each pair of
students. "A wonderful way to help us learn to summarize is by
creating a web just like the one we did together. Can anyone tell
me how to begin the web? Great! We place the topic of the
article in the center of our posters. Then we write facts or
pieces of information out to the side. Use your checklist to make
sure you have used the six steps for summarizing. Good
luck! I will be walking around to help if you need me!"
In order to assess the children understands of the topic I will walk
around the room as they work together on the web. I will compare
their checklists with their webs. They will also individually
write a brief summary paragraph based on their web from the
article. Make sure they actually eliminated unimportant
information if they checked it off on their list. I will
also ask questions for discussion after all the students have finished
reading such as What kind of areas do frogs like to
live?- wet areas, Why do frogs like wet areas?- lay their eggs in
water, protection from predators, to find food. What are
some reasons frogs are in danger?
Summarizers, by Valerie Lunceford-
to Odysseus Index