Steps to Summing it Up!


Katy Bugg

Rationale: The goal of this lesson is to teach students how to summarize text. By summarizing, students will be able to better understand what they are reading. Students will follow steps to find the main idea and important details in what they are reading. These steps to summarization will help students to find meaning in the text.

Materials:
1. One copy per student of the article "A Big Day for America!" from
National Geographic News
(April 13, 2007)
2. 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.
3. One Copy per student of the article "Balding Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit" from
National Geographic News
(April 25, 2008)
4. Notebook paper
5. Pencils

Procedure:
Step 1: Today we are going to learn how to read text and understand it's meaning by using summarization. First I want to talk about reading silently. Can someone tell me what silent reading is? (Allow students to respond) Right, silent reading is when we read quietly to ourselves. Why do you think we read silently? (Allow students to respond) There are many reasons but the most important reason is that we read silently to understand what we are reading.
    Summarizing what are reading can also help us understand what we are reading. Can anyone tell me what summarizing means? (Allow students to respond) Summarizing is when we pick out the most important parts of a story and retell it using only the most important parts. This makes the text shorter by taking out information that's not that important. So why did we say it is important to summarize what we are reading? (Allow students to respond) Right, summarizing helps us better understand what we are reading.  We are going to look at 5 steps that can help us summarize what we read and we are going to practice summarizing a short text.

Step 2:
Show students chart of five steps.
There are 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.

These are five steps that help up to summarize text. Let's go through each one and talk about it. First, we should pick out the important details. When we read, we need to pay attention to what the whole story is about and remember and write down the most important things. Secondly, we need to weed out what isn't as important. Next, we need to look for key words that highlight necessary details. It is also important to pick a topic sentence from the text and if there isn't one, we should invent one.

Step 3: Pass out the article "A Big Day for America" from the National Geographic News (April 13, 2007) to each student. Have students read the article silently to themselves.

Step 4: I am going to model for you how to summarize a paragraph using the five easy steps to summarization that we talked about. I will refer to the chart for each step. Listen for the important details.

First I picked out the most important parts of the paragraphs: Why America was celebrating, where did they land, and what they left behind. Then I remembered key words such as: 400th Anniversary, 1607, Jamestown, and British colonies. Finally I chose I topic sentence: "America recognized a 400th anniversary in May, 2007". Now listen closely as I read my summarization of the first four paragraphs.

"America recognized a 400th anniversary in May, 2007. On May 13, 1607, colonists arrived at Jamestown, Virginia.They created the first representative government in the British colonies."

Step 5: After reading the summary, go over the five steps of summarization again. Ask the students questions to help them pick out important parts of the story. Who can tell me why America is celebrating in this article? Good, it is about American celebrating its 400th anniversary. When did the colonists arrive in America? Right! May 13, 1607. Where did they land in America? Good! Jamestown, Virginia. These questions help students pick out the important details of the story.

Step 6: Pass out the article "Balding Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit" from the National Geographic News (April 25, 2008) to each student. Give an engaging book talk: "I am passing out an article about a very special penguin. Unlike other penguins, he wears a custom wetsuit. Why do you think he has to wear the wetsuit? We will have to read the article to find out!" Have students read the article silently to themselves.

Step 7: After reading this of the article I want you to write a summary of what you just read. Remember to use the five easy steps to summarization and remember to ask yourselves questions to pick out the important details. Write down the important details and write a summary following the steps.

Step 8:Monitor the students summarizing their stories by walking around and observing. Help students who may be struggling and offer positive comments.

Step 9: Assess the students' progress in summarizing by having them turn in their summaries. Read each summary to determine the students' understanding. Check for: (1)the  summary is accurate (2)  the summary is concise with only the most important details (3) unimportant details are ommitted (4) an appropriate  topic sentence was selected.

References:

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

Terry, Robin. National Geographic News: A Big Day for America. April 13, 2007.

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/History/Jamestown

Risberg, Eric. National Geographic News: Balding Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit. April 25, 2008.

 http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/AnimalsNature/Penguin-with-wetsuit


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