Pigging Out on Reading Comprehension

Comprehension Design

Elizabeth Brinkley


Rational:  Comprehension is an essential element of reading and it is important for readers to master it because it can enable learning.  Summarization is an effective way to teach students how to comprehend what they are reading by having them read a passage and then summarize what they read.       

Materials:  pencil, paper, highlighters, and the decodable book Pig In A Bag by Geri Murray,


1.      Talk to the student about what summarization is and how it is important for readers.  “Summarization is when a person takes out important information from whatever that person is reading, which makes it shorter.  It can help you understand what you are reading in a faster way and get the important information in what you read.” 

2.      Read a short story to the student.  “Listen to what I’m about to read and then I want you to summarize it.  I wanted my mom to fix pizza for lunch.  I asked her if she would fix pizza for lunch.  She went to the store and bought some pizza.  Then she came home and fixed me pizza for lunch.  Now I’m going to summarize what I just read.  I wanted pizza for lunch so my mom got one and fixed it for me.  Did you see how that was shorter than what I read before?  Did you hear how I took out the main points of the story?  Now you will summarize Pig In A Bag by Geri Murray.

3.      Give the student Pig In A Bag by Geri Murray and have the student read it to themselves.  Tell the student, ”Read this carefully and try to find all the key points.”

4.      After the student has read, have the student highlight the key points they have found in the story.  “Now I want you to use this highlighter and highlight the key points that you found in the story.” 

5.      Have the student write down the highlighted information that they thought was important on a piece of paper.

6.      Tell the student to make their summary of Pig In A Bag as short as possible without leaving out any important information.

7.      Have the student check their summary incase they left out any important information.

8.      Have the student read their summarization of the story Pig In A Bag by Geri Murray out loud. 

: Have the student read their written summary of Pig In A Bag by Geri Murray to assess their comprehension and summarization of the story. 


Reference:  International Reading Association.  (November 12, 2006).  Scaling Back to Essentials: Scaffolding Summarization With Fishbone Mapping.  November 12, 2006.  http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=277

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