"Long Story Short"

Amanda Gluckman

Reading to Learn


Rationale: Comprehension is very important when it comes to successful reading. When students know how to properly summarize a passage they are able to comprehend the meaning of it better. They should practice summarization to build their reading comprehension skills. Children should be able to pick out the important points in passages every time they read. They need to be taught how to ignore the trivial points and focus on the bigger picture. With practice and proper instruction, children will become better readers. Practicing summarization with this exercise will help them achieve this, and sharing it with the group is a motivator.

Materials:

- Highlighters

- Pencils

- Overhead of National Geographic article: "Water Wonders"

- Visa Vis overhead markers

- National Geographic article: "Wild Cats" enough copies for the class.

- Summarizing poster with 3 points:

1. Get rid of unnecessary information.

2. Pick out the most important information.

3. Write one to two sentences that include only the important information and conclusions drawn from the passage.

- Assessment Checklist:

Did the Student:

YES

NO

Get rid of unnecessary information?

 

 

Pick out the most important information from the article?

 

 

Write a one to two sentence summary including important information and conclusions?

 

 

 

Procedure:

1.)  "Today, we are going to learn an important tool that will help make you all better readers. Have you heard of the term summarization?" Have students share what they think summarization is.

2.)  Explain: "Summarization is the process of cutting out pointless information in what we read and picking out the main facts that we as readers need to get the story." Explain the steps on the poster: 1.) Getting rid of unnecessary information, 2.) Picking out the most important information, 3.) Write a sentence summary.

3.)  Let's read "Wild Cats" and I will show you how to summarize articles.

Book Talk: "There are many cats that would be considered wild cats. They each have their own unique qualities. You wouldn't want to mess with one when it's hungry! Lets read the article to find out more about them!"

4.)  Second Paragraph:

"Now, you will not see these creatures bathing in a dipper of water. That's because many of them are too small to see with the unaided eye. Others are almost clear, or transparent, so you can't see them either. Combined, all these creatures are called marine microfauna. They are the smallest animals in the sea."

First, I am going to get rid of unneeded details. List:

-         Won't see bathing in a dipper of water

Now I am going to select what I think are the most important details that help me to understand the text. List:

-         Creatures too small to see

-         Some too transparent to see

-         Called marine microfauna

Lastly I am going to write a one sentence summary:

"Marine microfauna are the smallest animals in the sea and are difficult to see because they are small and often transparent."

5.)  "Let's practice our new skill. Each one of you has a copy of an article from National Geographic Kids called "Wild Cats." Read the article silently. Mark out the unnecessary information with your pencil. Highlight the key information. Write one or two sentence summary of what you have read."

6.)  "Now I want you to get into groups of 4 and share what you did to summarize your articles. Share the strategies that worked for you with your group." Allow 5-10 minutes for groups to discuss their summaries.

7.)  "Now can I please have three volunteers share summaries with the class?" Have students stand up in front of the class and share their summaries of the article. Point out the positive attributes of the students' summaries.

8.)  Assessment: Students will be assessed on their summarization sentences.  I will use a checklist to assess their progress. Students are required to earn at least 2 out of the 3 checks possible. (See checklist above.) I will use this information to determine which kids need to work more on this skill.


References:

National Geographic. "Water Wonders."

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/0711/articles/mainarticle.html

National Geographic. "Wild Cats."

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngexplorer/0803/articles/mainarticle.html

Colins, Virginia.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/collinsrl.html

Prater, Cambre

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/praterrl.html


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