“Let’s Get to the Point--Summarize!”

Learning to Read

Jessie Wiggins


Rationale: One of the most important goals students should learn is reading comprehension.  Reading would be pointless without comprehension because students would not remember what they just read.  Summarization means to take important ideas out of a passage. One great way to show that you really understand what you have read is to sum up the main ideas in your own words.  This lesson will focus on helping children learn how to summarize.  They will learn how to pick out the important information of what they are reading.


-Rules written on board:

            -Get rid of unnecessary information.

-Pick out the most important information

- Write a sentence that covers everything that is important information from the passage.

-National Geographic Explorer Articles (Classroom Magazine) for students:

            Examples:     - “Burger Battle

                                    -“Discovering Saturn”

- “Making Faces”

-Box for articles (so students can choose)                     




-Check List:

Did the student…



Get rid of unnecessary information.



Pick out the most important information



Write a sentence that covers everything that is important information from the passage.





1.  “Today we are going to learn a reading comprehension skill called summarization.  Can anyone tell me what summarization is?  Summarization is reading and comprehending the MAIN ideas out of a passage.  When we summarize a passage, it helps us understand the reading.”

2.  First, let’s start out with some guiding rules for summarization that are on the board.  (Read rules on the board-in materials!)

3.  I am going to pass out the article called “Leopard Lessons” to each of you.  Read the article silently, and I will model how to summarize this article following the rules on the board. 

Leopard Lessons (first paragraph)

 "The leopard cub was only eight days old when we spotted her. Her steps were still unsteady. Yet she was bold.  She should have been scared. Predators had killed five other cubs. Would they get this one too?”

a.  After reading the article, I chose the first paragraph from this article to summarize. I am going to refer to the board where our summarization rules are.  The first step is to get rid of unnecessary information: 

-“Her steps were sill unsteady.”

-“Yet she was bold.”

-“Would they get this one too?”

-The cub was 8 days old.

b.  The next step is to pick out the important information using a highlighter:

-She should have been scared.

-Predators had killed 5 other cubs.

c.  The last step is to form a summarizing sentence: “The cub should have been scared because predators had killed 5 other cubs.”

4.  “Now that I have modeled how to summarize an article, I have many articles from the National Geographic Explorer Classroom Magazine that you may choose to read and summarize.  Only pick one.  We will read these articles silently to ourselves.  So there will be no talking!” 

5.  After reading the article, you will be responsible for summarizing one paragraph.  Remember to highlight the important information you have picked out to summarize.

6.  When you have completed your summarizations, you will share them with the class.


Assessment: The students will be assessed by their summarization from the article. If they have read the article and comprehended it fully, their summaries will show for it.  There is also a checklist that will be a guideline for the students to follow that I will also go by as well.


Articles Found in:

National Geographic Society. 2007.http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer

- “Leopard Lessons” http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/0704/articles/mainarticle.html

- “Burger Battle” http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/articles/

-“Discovering Saturn” http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/articles/

- “Making Faces” http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/articles/

Miranda, Jenn. “Let’s Sum It All Up”.

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