Long Story Short

Reading to Learn

Meg Griffin



Rationale:  The goal of reading is comprehension.  In order for students to develop good comprehension, they must have comprehension strategies.  Summarization simply means taking out all of the small details and focusing on the main ideas of the passage.  This lesson is designed to help students develop summarization skills. 



-Poster with summarization rules on it

            1. Get rid of unimportant information.

            2.  Get rid of repeated information.

            3. Substitute umbrella words for list words.

            4. Select a topic.

            5. Make up a topic sentence if there is not one.



-Black marker for each student

-Highlighter for each student

-Poster with "Gorilla Rescue"

-Copy of "Our Giant Footprint" for each student

-Summarization checklist:

Did the Student . . .



Get rid of unimportant information



Get rid of repeated information



Substitute umbrella words for list words



Select a topic



Make up a topic sentence if there was not one





1. I will introduce the lesson by telling the students that we are going to learn how to make super summarizations.  "Today we are going to be learning about a really helpful comprehension strategy called summarization.  Can anyone tell me what summarization is?  Good job!  Summarization means to take all of the important ideas out of the passage to get the main idea.  We can all be super summarizers!"

2. I will begin the lesson by reviewing the strategy of crosschecking.  "Class, remember how we learned to figure out a word that we don't know when we are reading?  We learned how to crosscheck and figure out the word that would make sense in the sentence."  Write the following sentence on the board: "The dog ran away from home."  Now read the sentence incorrectly to the class- "The duuug ran away from home.  That sentence didn't make sense.  Let me look back at it and see if I can figure it out.  Oh, it says "the DOG ran away from home!"  See how I used crosschecking to figure out that the sentence said dog and not dug.  It is always important to remember to use crosschecking when you come to a word that is hard to figure out."

3. Next I will display the poster with the summarization rules on it.  I will then read and explain the rules to the students.  "These are the rules that we are going to use to summarize passages that we read.  They will help you to better understand the text.  Does anyone have any questions about the summarization rule?"

4. Next I will model how to use the summarization rules.  Direct the students' attention to the poster with the "Gorilla Rescue" paragraph on it.  "Now I am going to show you how to use these summarization rules as you read.  I am going to read this paragraph and I want you to follow along with me silently.  Then we will write a topic sentence and summary of this article together."

5. Read the paragraph aloud: "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 reading the passage aloud, model how to go through the summarization checklist.  "Okay, now that we have read the passage, let's summarize it together using our summarization checklist.  The first rule says to get rid of all of the unimportant information.  To get rid of the unimportant information, we are going to cross it out with our black markers.  First I am going to mark out "illegal hunters" because it is just a definition.  Next I am going to mark out "when the buyer asked to see the merchandise and unzipped it."  It is important to remember that the poachers had found a buyer for their stolen goods and that they brought out a small duffel bag with a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla inside.  The next step is to delete any repeated information.  There is no repeated information in this passage, so we can go on to the next step which is to substitute umbrella words for list words.  I am going to highlight "The poachers had finally found a buyer for their stolen goods" and "A meeting was arranged and they brought a small duffel bag and inside was a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla."  These are the most important ideas from this passage, and we can group them under the term "the selling of a one-year-old baby gorilla".  Now we need to decide on the subject of this passage, which is the baby gorilla.  Finally we need to write a topic sentence.  The topic sentence that I am going to write for this passage is "The poachers had found a buyer for their stolen goods, arranged a meeting, and brought a duffel bag with a terrified one-year-old baby gorilla inside."  This is how to use the summarization rules to get the important facts from the passage."

6. Now that you have seen how to use the summarization rules, I want you to practice doing one on your own.  I am going to give you an article called "Our Giant Footprints".  I want you to read it silently to yourself and use the tools that I have given you (markers, highlighters) as well as the summarization rules to summarize the passage. 

7. For the assessment portion of this lesson, I will use the same summarization rules checklist that is included in the materials section of this lesson plan.  Students will be evaluated on their ability to delete trivial information as well as the repeated information, find the important information, and create one topic sentence.

8. Finally I will ask for volunteers to share their summaries and generate a class discussion to be sure that all of the students have comprehended what they have read.


National Geographic for Kids: Gorilla Rescue by Scott Elder



Time for Kids: Our Giant Footprints: http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/ns/article/0,27972,1730228,00.html


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