Let's Sum It All Up!

Reading to Learn

Megan Killen

Rationale:  A vital tool in reading is comprehension.  It is important for readers to understand the material that they read and to be able to summarize events that occur in a particular piece of reading material. Students should be able to understand what a summarization is and how to apply that in reading.


Class set of the article "Honey Bee Mystery" found at : http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/AnimalsNature/Honey-bee-mystery

2 pieces of paper for each student


Dry erase markers


Bookmark for each child


1.     "Today we are going to learn about comprehension.  If you know what comprehension is, raise your hand.  Good, comprehension is when we have something that we read and after we read it we understand what it meant.  We all want to be good at comprehending what we read, we are going to become experts.  We are going to use a strategy called summarization to help us.  When we summarize we only concentrate on the important parts of a story.  We have 3 steps to follow that will help us remember what summarization is.

2.     Now I will explain summarization.  I will pass out the bookmarks and have them read the bookmarks.  We will read the summarization bookmark aloud.  "3 steps help us summarize our text so that we can remember what it says. These 3 steps are:

a.     Delete unimportant information

b.     Highlight important details

c.     Find a main idea

3.     Now I will show them a copy of the article "Honey Bee Mystery".  This is a story about honey bees all over the United States and the mystery of their disappearance.  I wonder what is happening to the honey bees?  Let's begin our KWL chart.  What are some things we already know about honeybees?  And some things we want to know?  Let's read and find out!

4.     The students will silent read the text and I will walk around and help anyone if they have questions.  Can anyone tell me what the main topic is?  That's right!  It's about honey bees.  Let's finish the KWL chart using the information we just read and placing it under the "learned" column. 

5.     Now students will each have a piece of their own paper and come up with a sentence to be a main topic sentence, show words that they thought were not important and also words or sentences that they thought were very important.

6.     To assess them I will take up their summaries.  I will check them to see if they followed the rules and wrote information that goes with each topic.  I will also observe them as they work.  I will have a checklist of the key points they should pick out from the story. The checklist will include items such as: main characters, plot, conclusion, lesson learned. I will check off things they say and make note of any unimportant information they give me.  I will also have the children tell their summary of the story to see how well they comprehended it.


"Honey Bee Mystery"


Reading Genie Website; Mandy Jones - "Let's Summarize!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/jonesrl.html

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