Summarizing is the Key!


By: Alisa Isom


Reading to Learn




In order for one to understand a story for its full meaning, one must have the capability and strategies to comprehend the story. In order to comprehend a story, it is important to make mental marks of the main points within a story by summarizing the story, blocking out any of the unnecessary information and retaining the important facts. Summarizing a story is the key to comprehending a story. This is done by pointing out the main points and blocking out unnecessary points, then writing out the main idea. This lesson will help to provide strategies to help students retain the important details in a story which will help students to better understand the story for comprehension and they will in turn become better readers by mastering the skill of summarizing, which will help with their comprehension.



Poster board with steps to summarizing written on it:

1.     Point out the important detail.

2.     eliminate the unnecessary details

3.     highlight the important key words

4.     use the highlights to come up with a topic sentence that summarizes the article

 Overhead with article pulled up of Lessons from the Garden

 Magazines for students to choose from such as: Weekly Readers, Science Spin! With articles such as: Amazing Magnets,Surprising Animals.

Checklist for students to evaluate students work


____ Students state main points within the article


____ Students highlight important key words within the article


____ Students marked out unnecessary information



1.Teacher will begin the lesson by asking the students if they understand what comprehension means. Ok class, today we are going to be talking about comprehension. Does everyone know what it means when someone says do you comprehend the story? Ya’ll are so smart, that is right, it means to understand the story. It is hard sometimes to read a story and to remember every detail of the story. In order for one to understand a story for its full meaning, one must learn how to summarize a story by pointing out the main points. It is important to learn how to comprehend a story by learning the steps of summarizing.

2. Teacher will now show the class the steps of summarizing. Ok class, the steps of summarizing are very clear and easy. Let’s look at these together. One must first point out the important detail, eliminates the unimportant information, and as one reads, highlight the important key words. Once one is finished, the reader should be able to look at the important parts that he/she highlighted and come up with a topic sentence of what the whole article was about, and those are the steps of summarizing. As you all practice, you will be able to look up at these steps that are written out on this poster to help guide you as you are practicing.

3. The teacher will now show an article over the overhead and walk through the steps that they would need to take when summarizing an article. The article that will be typed on the overhead is called Lessons from the garden. The article states:

4. School gardens are springing up across the country. Teachers use the gardens to give lessons in science, math and more. Studies show that kids who work in outdoor gardens get higher scores on science tests. Teachers hope that by learning where their food comes from, kids will make healthier choices at mealtimes.

Here We Grow!

Students at Woodland Elementary West, in Illinois, plant seeds in the spring. They grow pumpkins, peppers and broccoli. The kids care for the garden until summer. They harvest, or collect, the vegetables in the fall. Third grader Teaghan Brennan likes that job the best. "It's like a scavenger hunt," she told TFK. "You have to look at all the vegetables to find the ones that are ready to be picked.

Teacher will read through this article and will go through and demonstrate how to highlight the important parts of this article and will mark out the unnecessary parts of the article. Ok class, I want everyone to look up here at the overhead and read this passage with me. Teacher will read aloud the article once and then will begin the correcting. Ok remember, our goal is to highlight the important details so that we can go back and sum up what the article is saying. In the first sentence Spring Gardens is an important word to highlight because this is what the article is discussing. The second sentence discusses teachers using the gardens to give lessons in 3 different subject areas, so I feel that give lessons would be important to highlight as well as the 3 subjects. Now take a look at this 3rd sentence, it states that Studies show that kids who work in outdoor gardens get higher scores on science tests, I would say that this sentence is important because that is the goal or result in the title because the title states lessons in the garden and so it is from those lessons that the kids are scoring higher. Therefore, in that sentence, I would highlight kids, higher scores, science tests, because that is an important result of this article. Now, I feel that we are finished with highlighting the important information. Let’s now look back at what I highlighted and then come up together with our topic sentence. The first word highlighted would be a good way to start off, School gardens, now what do you think would need to end our sentence to sum up everything. I think ya’ll did good, School Gardens are being used by teachers to teach lessons in different subject areas and as a result of this students are getting higher scores on their tests.  I really feel like you nailed it! IT stated t he topic which is school gardens, you stated how they are using them, and the result that has been shown. Great job for you first try! Now I am going to give each of you a try on your own.

5. Teacher will now pass out the other articles for the students to try by themselves. Teacher decided to allow the students to look for articles through magazine that were appropriate for class, to read and summarize. Teacher wanted them to be able to find an article that interests them, so that they would be more interested to participate. Ok class, I am going to allow all of you to choose an article that will interest you, that way you will be more like to find interest in doing this assignment. For all of you who have an interest in keeping our environment clean maybe this magazine would interest you. This article discusses ways that improve the world around us and states many ways of doing so. I will say if ya’ll could find different ways to improve our school and the area around it, then that would be great! Read to figure some of those ways out! Once they have gone through highlighting, they are to write their topic sentence. The teacher will assess them by looking at their article that they chose then reading their sentence to state whether they listed the main idea of the selection.

6. Teacher will have a checklist that she will use to evaluate students work. Checklist will include: Students state main points, students highlight important key details/word, students mark out unnecessary information.


Jenny Duvall “Fantastic Facts”,27972,1888367,00.html

Return to Projects Index