Summing It All Up

Cassie Cherof

Summarization Design


Reading Comprehension is one of the most important components to learning how to read. Children need to be able not only to read the words on the page but also to be able to understand what they are reading. A good way to help children learn this is to teach them summarization skills. During this lesson students will learn how to summarize the first chapter of a book, as well as learning the six steps of story structure.




Plain white paper


A copy of Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for every student

Butcher paper


A final checklist to evaluate and assess each students comprehension and progress

1. I will have already assigned reading Shiloh to the entire class about one week to a week and a half before wanting to do this lesson. Shiloh is a great story about a young boy's struggle to keep an abandon dog that he found, and exactly how far he will have to go to protect his new best friend.

2. ''Has everyone finished reading Shiloh? Great! I hope that everyone enjoyed the story as much as I have. Now that we have all finished the reading we are going to practice writing a summary. Does anyone know the different structures of a story? Well one is summary, and that it is a basic description of the plot and characters in a story. Writing summaries helps you to remember things that you read, but it can be a lot of fun too.''

3. ''I want everyone to take out your books, and re-read chapter one to yourself. As you read I want you to write down some of the most important things that you find in the reading. For example, I might write down the main characters name, where he lives, etc.''

4. After they have finished I will begin to explain story mapping.

5. While they are reading be hanging up the butcher paper so that you can draw the map out and have your students copy it. ''Now we are going to start summing up chapter one of our book. We are going to use a story map to help us. I want you all to take out your main ideas that you wrote down, and two blank pieces of paper. I have drawn one large circle with five small circles around them with arrows pointing at the large circle. In the middle circle I have written "Shiloh: Chapter One" because that is what we are writing out summaries about. Now in each of the five smaller circles we are going to write some of the important facts that you picked out from chapter one. For example, I might want to write down the main character's name, "Marty" in one circle. What other things did you all think were important about chapter one?''

6. Together we will complete the story map. Make sure that each student is copying what you are writing on the butcher paper. 'Now we are all going to ''sum up'' chapter one in only three to five sentences using the ideas that we wrote down in the circles. ''Write down the summary that they come up with on the chalkboard. Does anyone have any questions about summarizing? Does everyone understand about how it is a quick and easy way to understand and remember what you read?''

7. Then have the students re-read the second chapter silently to themselves. Ask them to individually make up a story map. Once they have finished ask for a volunteer to come up to the board and write down everyone's ideas on a clean sheet of butcher paper. Then ask for a second volunteer to condense the ideas into the three to five sentence summaries and write that up on the board.

7. ''Now that we have done two chapters together I am going to break you all down into groups and assign each of you a different chapter. I want you all to write down your own map on one piece of paper and your three to five page summaries on the other sheet of paper. After you are finished I want you to bring them to my desk for me to look at. Once I have approved your summaries you may decorate them with markers. Then once you are done, after school today I am going to make a copy of everyone's maps and sentences about each chapter in Shiloh. Does everyone understand? Great! Get started!! I will be walking around the room if you all ever have any questions.''

8. Walk around the room and observe the students progress.

I will assess the students by looking over their group summaries and walking around the room to make sure that the entire group is participating in the process. I will ake a check list of key points in chapter one to make sure that each student is summarizing correctly and really understanding the different concepts of story structure.

Oglesby, Kara "Fun with Summarizing"

York, Lyndsay "Summing it all Up"

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds Shiloh, Aladdin Paperbacks

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