Stonehenge Summarizations

Reading to Learn

Meredith Willis


Rationale:  Learning to read begins by providing students with the tools they need to began their journey of reading.  Once the foundation of reading is gained by students they must then gain comprehension skills to understand the meaning behind what is being read by the student.  One strategy that is used to comprehend new text is summarization.  Students use this strategy to pull out key information needed to tell a complete story while throwing out any unnecessary information.  Students can use summarization to pull out important facts as well as expressing key points that an author is trying to express to readers.  This strategy can be used with any form of reading material where important information can be obtained by reading the text.



Notebook paper, highlighter, and pencil for each student and teacher

Copies for each student of the article Shooting Marbles, by Tiffany Chapparo

projection device

            paragraph to be used as a tool to demonstrate how to summarize:
Ancient Stonehenge Village Unearthed”

Chart with summarization steps written on it:

-Step 1: thoroughly read text and to use a device such as a highlighter or pencil to record any important facts that we find in the text. 

-Step 2: get rid of any unnecessary information that is not important when retelling a shorter version or summary of the story. 

-Step 3: organize the important details taken from the story to make one main idea.



1)      General discussion with children about summarization:  “Does anyone know what it means to create a summary of something? (Student Response)  “When I think of a summary, I think of reading over a story or article in order to pull out important facts found in the text.  Today we are going to learn to summarize stories that we read in order to make them meaningful to us.  When we are able to summarize a story, we are able to understand and comprehend the text easily.” 

2)      Three summarization techniques: “There are three important steps we need to summarize stories we read. The first step we should follow is to thoroughly read text and to use a device such as a highlighter or pencil to record any important facts that we find in the text.  The second step of the process is to get rid of any unnecessary information that is not important when retelling a shorter version or summary of the story.  The third and final step would be to organize the important details taken from the story to make one main idea.”

3)      Demonstrate to students how to summarize using a short story or

paragraph projected onto a projection screen. Students should participate in with the process by telling the teacher what information is important and what information does not contribute to telling the story.  “I am going to read this paragraph to you.  As I am reading, look for the most important details found in this story.  We will go over them as a class.  (paragraph is read)  I am going to show you the first main point I would use to summarize this story and I want you to help me with the rest.  (First main point: The kitten was scared of the dog she climed a really tall oak tree-this should be highlighted or underlined)  Now we can continue with the rest of the details.”  Students will respond at this point until the story is summarized.

4)      Now the students will receive the copied article, “Ancient Stonehenge Village Unearthed”.  “Please read this paragraph silently to yourselves.  As you read, refer to the summarization steps we discussed at the beginning of this activity.  Once you have read the article through once, go back a mark out any information that does not seem to be necessary to retell the story.  Highlight any information that is important.  When you are done reviewing the article, pick out the highlighted information.  Use these to write 1-2 sentences about the story to sum up the entire article.”

5)      Students demonstrate what they know: “Once you have read the article, highlighted facts, and written your summary I would like for individual students to come up and highlight an important fact that you chose to highlight in the article.”  We will go over which ones are the most important and point out any information that is not needed as a class.  Summaries will not be changed for assessment purposes.


Assessment:  Students will turn in summaries and they will be assessed on whether they followed the guidelines given to complete a layout of a summary then whether they were able to actually write a summary that includes all information needed to explain the story/article.



Chapparo, Tiffany.  Shooting Marbles:  Nasa prepares for the next trip to the moon.  Scholastic News Online.  April 10, 2007.

Egan, Jill.  Ancient Stonehenge Village Unearthed”.  Time for Kids. January 31, 2007.,6260,1583905,00.html

Redd, Jennifer.  “What’s the Point?”




Ancient Stonehenge Village Unearthed

Researchers have uncovered a village that may have been home to the builders of Stonehenge, the mysterious circular stone monument in England. The village of small houses dates back to about 2600 B.C.. That's about the same time Stonehenge was built.

"Clearly, this is a place that was of enormous importance," said researcher Mike Parker Pearson.

Homes and Artifacts Found

The ancient houses are at a site known as Durrington Walls, about two miles from Stonehenge. Researchers believe Stonehenge was a memorial site or cemetery for the villagers. The village also had of a wooden version of the stone circle. It may have been used by people attending festivals at Stonehenge.

Eight of the houses have been excavated, or dug up. Researchers say there may be as many as 25 of them. The wooden houses were square and about 14 feet along each side. There are signs of bed frames along the walls and of a dresser or storage unit. The houses also had fireplaces.

Two of the houses were separate from the others and may have been the homes of community leaders. Researchers say those sites didn't have the debris and household trash that was found in the other homes.

Stone tools, animal bones, arrowheads and other artifacts were found throughout the village site.

By Jill Egan,6260,1583905,00.html


Shooting Marbles

NASA prepares for the next trip to the moon

By Tiffany Chaparro

April 10, 2007

It's not every day that you see scientists playing with marbles, but for NASA scientist Bill Cooke, it's a job. Cooke shoots small glass marbles at a rate of 16,000 mph into a pile of soil that is similar to the moon's surface. He hopes the lessons learned from the experiment will help keep astronauts safe when they travel to the moon.

"We are simulating meteoroid impacts with the lunar surface," Cooke explained.

The moon does not have an atmosphere, like the Earth does, to slow objects heading toward its surface. Space objects, like comets or meteors, cause major damage partly because they are moving so fast.

meteors (space rocks) often hit the moon's surface, it can be dangerous for astronauts. Cooke uses marbles to try to predict how much damage the meteors actually cause on impact. The results will help NASA learn what precautions need to be taken when astronauts return to the moon.

How It Works

To shoot the marbles, NASA uses a special gun—the Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR), located in the Ames Research Center in California.

Cooke uses the flash from the explosion to make different calculations. With these calculations, he can figure out what's happening on the moon's surface.

The scientists use high-speed cameras and a
photometer, or light meter, to record the results.

Critical Thinking Question

Read today's news story, and then answer the following question.

Do you think it's important for astronauts to return to the moon? Why or why not?

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