Fly High and Summarize


Amy White

Reading to Learn

Rationale:  All children need to be able to both read words and comprehend important information and events that take place in the texts.  By the end of this lesson, students should be able to read passages and summarize the passage by pulling out important information from what they have read. 


                        -  Summarizing poster

            1.      Delete anything that you know is not important to the story.

            2.      pick out items and events that you know are important

            3.      compose a statement that covers everything the writer says about the topic that you read about

- Copy of to To Catch a Dragonfly from Science News for Kid‚s by Emily Sohn for each student

-   Highlighter and pencil for each student

-    Dry erase board and/or smart board

-     Personal reading book

-     Assessment checklist:

                    YES                NO

            - Deletes trivia and redundancies

            - Locates important items and events

            - Compose a statement that covers everything the

                writer says about the topic



1.      I will begin the lesson by explaining what summarizing is.  Summarizing is what you do when you read a text and then make a statement covering all of the important facts that the author tells you about the subject.  You will not include many details in the summary.  You will however, include the main ideas, which are the reasons that the author wrote the passage.  Now, lets begin reading and practicing summarization.

2.      To start, I want you all to read silently.  Remember that no one else should hear you when you read silently.  Please take out a practice book from you desk and show everyone that you can read silently for a few minutes.

3.      Now we will look and our summarizing poster. „There are three steps that I want us all to take when we summarize.  First, I want us to delete anything that you know has no importance to the story.  Then pick out things that you know are important.  Finally I want you to write a statement that covers everything that the author says about the topic.  These three steps are important to always take when summarizing and should always be used. 

4.      Now, I am going to model summarization for you.  I am going to use an informational passage that we read yesterday so that everyone is familiar with the text.  Everyone please get our your passage of A Tongue and a Half.  I am going to summarize using the steps on our poster.  Make sure to pay attention to what is important and what should be looked over. I will now go through the steps of summarizing and writing important parts of the text on a dry erase board to use for a final summarization.  I will make a point to point out the details that should be left out and the important ideas that should be left in.

5.      Since you have seen me summarize, now we are all going to summarize.  I will give each student a copy of To Catch a Dragonfly by Emily Sohn.  I will introduce the article and then tell the students how to begin their work. 

6.      I will ask the students to read the article silently at their desks.  They will each have highlighters to highlight important information.  "Let's do the first paragraph together.  Try to catch a dragonfly. I dare you.  This is not important to the message so lets mark through it.  They're so quick and smart, this is important.  However, it is not important that it sometimes takes us hours with five people to catch one.  You finish the passage highlighting what is important and making a line through what is not important.  Now read the rest of the article to see what other information you can find about dragonflies.  They are very interesting creatures and if you read the article you will find lots of interesting information out about them. 

7.      Once everyone is finished reading the article, I will ask the students to get into pairs to summarize the text they have read.  They should take the steps for summarizing that will be posted on the board.  Each groups summary will be used for assessment.

8.      I will assess each summary based on the assessment checklist posted above.



Sohn, Emily. To Catch a Dragonfly. Science News for Kids.

Sohn, Emily. A Tongue and a Half.  Science News for Kids. 

Wood, Ashley.  Lets Sum it all up!  



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