Fun with Summarizing
Reading to Learn Lesson Design
Kara Oglesby

I. Rationale:  Just as decoding is very important to learning to read, summarization is very important to comprehension.  The entire purpose of reading is to comprehend what has been read.  In this lesson, I will teach the students’ story mapping as a way of learning to summarize so that they may improve their reading comprehension.

II.  Materials:  multiple copies of Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice, five large sheets of butcher paper, markers

III.  Procedures:
 1.  I will pre-assign the book Freckle Juice by Judy Blume to the entire class at
 least a week in advance to this lesson.  It is a short chapter book that is forty-seven  pages and is five chapters long.
 2.  On the day the reading is due, I will ask the students to take out their books.
 3.  Now that everyone has completed the book Freckle Juice, we are going to learn  how to write a summary.  A summary is a paragraph that is written in your own  words to tell about a story you have read.  Writing summaries helps you to  remember what you have read, and it can be a lot of fun.
 4.  I want everyone to read chapter one again to yourselves.  As you read, write  down some words or ideas that you think explain about what is going on in the  story.
 5.  When they are finished I will begin discussing story mapping.  We are going to  make a story map to help us write our summaries.  (I will hang a piece of the  butcher paper on the chalkboard.  I will write on it with a marker.)  First, I will  draw a big circle in the middle of my paper.  Inside the circle I will write “chapter  one”.  I am going to ask you what some of the words and ideas are that you wrote  down.  Each time I write one of your words or ideas, I will draw a line from our  big circle and draw a little circle to write your ideas in.
 6.  As a class we will complete the story map.  Now, that we have finished our   story map, we are going to write a summary.  Our summary only needs to be three  to five sentences long, which makes a paragraph.
 7.  Together as a class we will discuss their ideas and condense them into a short  paragraph summarizing the first chapter.  I will write the paragraph on the butcher  paper.  Then I will split the students into four groups.
 8.  We have four groups of students in our classroom and there are four more  chapters in Freckle Juice.  Each group will be responsible for one chapter.   Everyone will read his or her chapter silently.  When everyone in your group is finished,  raise your hand and I will bring you a piece of butcher paper and markers.  As a  group, you will make your own story web and write a summary of you chapter at  the bottom of the page.
 9.  Now that everyone is finished, every group will come up and present their story  map and summary of their chapter.  Everyone has done such a great job!  I am so  proud of all of you!
IV.  Assessment:  I will use their presentations, story maps, and summaries to assess the students’ understanding and comprehension.

V.  References:
Blume, Judy.  Freckle Juice.  Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.  New York:  1971.
Swindall, Tamra.  “Learning to Summarize”.
Tomlinson, Lindsey.  “Comprehension in the Cold”.

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