Summing it up!

Reading to Learn Lesson Design

Margaret Payne



As students are increasingly improving with their fluency, it is crucial that they understand what they are reading. Comprehension is the main goal and in order for the students to be able to comprehend, they must learn how to summarize. Not only will this tool help children better understand what they are reading, but it will also help them organize everything they are reading in a very informative way. Throughout this lesson students will learn the rules of summarization as well as read in expository texts while applying the rules that they have learned.






Class set of "Iceland" article found on (Web address on reference list).

Class set of "Turtle Travels" article found on (Web address on reference list).

Poster containing all of the rules for summarizing:

1. Highlight Important Details

2. Remove any unimportant details or any that are repeating

3. Combine all important ideas for the topic or summative sentence

Summarization Checklist, for each student:



Did the student . . .



Mark out unimportant information



Remove repeated




Highlight important information



Construct a few sentences that included the main idea





1. I will ask the students if they remember what we learned last week, and review with them how we are also supposed to be working on reading with lots of expression and quickly. After reviewing the main points covered last week with fluency I will tell the students that today we are going to learn something that is going to improve us even more as a reader. I will inform the students that today we are going to learn a tool called summarizing. I will tell the students that this tool is going to help them comprehend and remember everything they are reading, and it will also help them organize all of the information better.

2. I will then slowly go through each rule of summarization and emphasize the importance of picking out all of the important information, rereading that information you picked out to make sure you don’t have anything in there that’s not important or that you have twice. One of the last important rules that I will stress is that you always want to combine all of the important ideas to make at least one topic/ summative sentence. I will then tell the students to go back over the rules with me as I cover them up on the board.

3. Now I will model exactly what I mean by summarizing with the students. I will have my teach copy of the article "Iceland" and I will also give a copy to every student. I will read the article and go through each step in summarizing. I will slowly model each step with the children and emphasize that we are still working on our fluency. I will write all the important information on the board and even organize the topic sentence for them to see.

4. The students will now receive a copy of the article "Turtle Travels". The children will work individually to summarize this article. I will constantly be asking questions out loud with the entire class to guide them through picking out the important information. The students will highlight what they find to be important in their article and will also write out their topic sentence on a separate sheet of paper.

5. For the assessment I will bring the class back together when everyone is finished and we will all discuss the article together. I will make a list of everyone's important facts and I will be able to assess which students are getting it and which students do not understand correctly. I will call on students to give their topic sentence and we will determine as a class which information is important and which topic sentences are appropriate.


Iceland Article from

Turtle Travels Article from