Sum It Up!!!

reading worm

Reading to Learn

Emily Young


Rationale: The main goal of reading is comprehension. There are many strategies that students can use to help them comprehend written text. One of these strategies is summarization. Summarization is the process of finding the most important information from a reading. Students must follow several rules to help them effectively summarize. These include identifying the main information, deleting the trivial and redundant information, and relating main and supporting ideas. Effective use of summarization can greatly increase comprehension skills. In this lesson, the students will learn the 5  rules of summarization and apply them by reading an article and writing a summary.



paper, pencil, and highlighter for each student

dry erase board and dry erase marker

photocopies of "The Great Koala Rescue" for each student (



            1) First, review silent reading with the class. “Today, we are going to review silent reading. Does anyone remember what this is?  Silent reading is when we read                 with our eyes, to ourselves,but not aloud. Does anyone remember why we read silently?  We do this because it helps us to comprehend what we are reading.”

            2) Introduce summarization to the class. “The main purpose of reading is comprehension; that means that the reason that we read is to understand what we are                 reading. One strategy that can help us comprehend what we are reading is summarization. Summarization is a strategy in which you find the most important                      information in the text. Using summarization will help you be able to comprehend what you are reading.”

            3) Explain the rules of summarization. “There are five very important rules that you should always remember when you are summarizing. First, pick out the                     important details. Second, pick out the details that are repeated or are not important and get rid of them.  Third, use easy keywords to highlight important details.              Fourth, list those keywords in order as they appeared in the passage.Fifth, trim the list of keywords to make one topic sentence.” (Write these on the dry erase                     board as you talk about them.)

            4) Next, read a short story or article to the students. After you finish reading, model how to summarize using the five steps. “I am going to model for you how to                 summarize using the article/story I just read using our five steps.” Tell the students to pay close attention.

            6) Next, pass out a photocopy of "The Great Koala Rescue" , a pencil, and a highlighter to each student. (The photocopy will let the students mark on it.)

               7) Give an engaging booktalk to the students about the article. "Frightened and helpless, a baby koala clings to a tree branch. Below, his mother screams.                         Searching for their dinner of eucalyptus  leaves, she manages to get her head stuck in one family's fence. For Australians, spotting a koala isn't unusual, but finding             one in distress is. Desperate to save the mother koala's life, the family calls the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. Koala rescuer Vicki Pender is sent to help.             Will she be able to save the Koala bears?"

             8)Tell the students to read the article silently and to highlight the key points with the highlighter and to mark out the unimportant information with the pencil as they              read. Allow enough time for each student to finish and do not move on until everyone is done.

            9) After the students have finished reading and marking, give each student a piece of paper and have them write a summary of "The Great Koala Rescue." Tell the             students to make sure to use the 5 steps that we learned to write the summary.

            10) Allow the students ample time to complete the assignment and collect the summary for assessment.



            Call the students one at a time to the teacher’s desk or table. Have them read their summary aloud to you. This will not only allow you to assess their summary,                 but it will also provide an opportunity for you to assess their reading (if necessary) and also to allow them to opportunity to read.



              Horton, Shelley, 1, 2, 3…Summing It Up!



            Brinkley, Elizabeth. Pigging Out On Reading.


             The Great Koala Rescue


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