Summarize, Summarize, Summarize

monkey

Valerie Vila
Reading to Learn

Rationale:

Comprehension is the main goal of reading.  Students can use many strategies to comprehend written text.  A great strategy for children to learn is summarization.  Summarization can be defined as finding the most important information from a reading.  To effectively summarize a text, students must follow several rules including identify main information, delete trivial and redundant information, and relate main and supporting ideas.

Materials:

Chart Paper with paragraph on it from "Gorilla Rescue"
(found at http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/AnimalsNature/Gorillarescue)

A chart of the 5 summarization steps:                                          
1.    Pick out important details that are necessary to the story.
            
2.    Pick out the less important or repeated ideas and eliminate them.
        
3.    Highlight the important and necessary details using key words.
            
4.    Pick a topic sentence
           
5.    Invent a topic sentence if there is none.         

Markers

Notebook Papers

pencils

National Geographic for Kids (2008). Elephants Recognize Selves in Mirror. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061030-asian-elephants.html

Summarization checklist for each student       
Did the Student
Yes
No
Get rid of unimportant information


Get rid of repeated information


Super-ordinate items and events


Select a topic


Write a topic statement that covers everything
that is important from the passage of text       



Procedure:

1. Today we are going to learn how to read a text and understand it’s meaning by using summarization. First, I will ask "who can tell me what it means to read silently?" After letting the students respond, I will state "yes, silent reading is when we read to ourselves, not out loud, and when our eyes are following along in the text."  I will also ask "who can tell me why we read silently?" After waiting for someone to answer, I will state "yes, that’s correct we read silently because it helps us to understand what we are reading." I will explain that there are things we can do to help us understand or comprehend what we are reading. One way is by summarizing our text. I will ask "can someone tell me what is means to summarize?" After allowing time for the students to respond "Right, when we summarize something we restate it, stressing only the most important parts in order to emphasize the main idea. When you are summarizing a text, you must create a short description of what you read. This means you take out any information that is not important or that is repeated in the text." I will remind the student’s "summarizing helps us to better understand what we have read. Therefore, today I am going to teach a few necessary steps that will help you summarize your readings, and then we will practice summarizing some text together."

2. Next, I will introduce the following five summarization steps that are written on chart paper and discuss each one.
    Five Steps to Summarization:
         1. Pick out important details that are necessary to the story.
            
         2. Pick out the less important or repeated ideas and eliminate them.
        
         3. Highlight the important and necessary details using key words.
            
         4. Pick a topic sentence
           
         5. Invent a topic sentence if there is none
Say: "Now that we have discussed each of the five steps to summarization, lets review them out loud and then practice using them."

3. Next, pass out the paragraph from the "Gorilla Rescue" article. Ask the students to read the paragraph silently to themselves. (Make sure to provide enough time for each student to finish the article.) After each student has finished, state "I am going to model for you how to summarize a paragraph using the four steps to summarization." "First I am going to reread it to you, "The poachers—illegal hunters—had finally found a buyer for their stolen goods. A meeting was arranged, and when the buyer asked to see the merchandise, they brought out a small duffel bag and unzipped it. Inside was a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla." After pointing to the first rule state, "the first rule states we need to delete unimportant information, therefore I am going to cross out that information with my black marker." As I cross out I will state, "the first unimportant information that I see is illegal hunters, then when the buyers asked to see the merchandise, and finally and unzipped it. The part I need to remember is that the poachers had finally found a buyer for their stolen goods and a meeting was arranged and they brought out a small duffel bag and inside was a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla." I will then look to the next rule, "the second rule is to delete the repeated information, however, since there is no repeated information we can move on to the next rule." I will then state the third rule, "highlight important information, which means I will need to highlight poachers had finally found a buyer for their stolen goods and a meeting was arranged and they brought out a small duffel bag and inside was a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla. These are the most important ideas in this paragraph." I will then move on and restate the next rule "pick a topic sentence, which means I will use the important information I have highlighted to compile a topic sentence. The topic sentence will be: The poachers had found a buyer for their stolen goods, arranged a meeting and showed them a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla. This is how you apply the five summarization rules that are displayed on the chart paper."

4. After, pass out the article "Elephants Recognize Selves in Mirror" to each student.  While passing out the papers say "I have given each of you a copy of the article Elephants Recognize Selves in Mirror and I want each of you to read it silently and then apply the summarization rules to summarize this passage." Before the start reading, make sure to provide an article talk such as "This study talks about how Asian Elephants can see themselves in a mirror and how the react, let's read the rest of the article to find out how they react and also some more interesting facts about these elephants. When reading remember to use your markers to cross out the unimportant information and your highlighter to highlight the important information that you want to summarize. Once you complete this combine the important information into one topic sentence.  After everyone has completed their summarizations, we will all discus them with the rest of the class."

Assessment:

For the assessment I will use the checklist in the materials section to evaluate each of their summarizations.  I will evaluate each child on their ability to delete the trivial and repeated information, find the important information, and create one topic and summarizing sentence. I will also ask questions pertaining to the text to the class to make sure that they comprehended and understood what they had read.

References:

National Geographic for Kids (2008). Elephants Recognize Selves in Mirror. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061030-asian-elephants.html

National Geographic for Kids (2008). Gorilla Rescue   http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/AnimalsNature/Gorillarescue

Graves, Lindsay. I’m Thankful I Can Summarize. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/constr/gravesrl.html


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