Summing It All Up!

 
Reading to Learn

Katie DeFoor


 

 

Rationale: Comprehension is a very important part of reading.  Being able to summarize is something that helps readers develop better comprehension skills.  Summarizing also helps students realize what is important in a story and pick it out and leave out the unimportant parts.  In this lesson, students will learn how to leave out useless information when reading, pick out the important information, and create a topic sentence.

Materials:

Class set of the article "Cow Power" by Catherine Clarke Fox, National Geographic Kids. 7 September 2007. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/SpaceScience/Cow-power

2 pieces of paper for each student

Pencils

Dry erase markers

Whiteboard

Bookmark with 3 summarization rules:1) delete information that is not important or repeated 2) highlight the important and necessary details by using key words or headings 3) and find a topic sentence that covers the main idea and if there is not a topic sentence than make one

Enlarged semantic chart (chart with circle in middle for main topic or idea, lines for key points and ideas)

Procedures:

  1. "Today we are going to talk about comprehension.  Does anyone know what comprehension means?  Comprehension is when we remember what we read and being able to apply it after we are done.  I want everyone to become really good at comprehending and we are going to talk about something that will help us make reading easier to understand.  We are going to use a strategy called summarization to help us.  Does anyone know what summarization means?  When we summarize we only concentrate on the important parts of a story.  We have 3 steps and a story map that we are going to use to help us summarize."
  2. Now I will explain summarization.  I will pass out the bookmarks and have them read the bookmarks.  We will read the summarization bookmark aloud.  "3 steps help us summarize our text so that we can remember what it says. These 3 steps are:
    1. Delete information that is not important or repeated
    2. Highlight the important and necessary details by using key words or headings
    3. Find a topic sentence that covers the main idea and if there is not a topic sentence than make one.
  3. Now I will show them a copy of the article "Cow Power."  This story is about how people use cow manure to make electricity.  There is a farm that uses a lot of cow manure to make electricity for their whole farm!  Now I want everyone to read this article silently.  Can anyone tell me what that means?  It means to read to ourselves and do not bother anyone else.  We do not make any sounds with our mouth when we read silently.  When we read this article we can sit somewhere where we will be comfortable."  I will then model how to read silently.  I will sit crisscross on the floor, hold the article up in front of me, and will read to myself.  I make move my mouth as I read, but I will not make any sounds.  I may also use my finger to guide me as I read.  "This is how I want you to read the article.  I want everyone to read the first five paragraphs for me.  Remember to read silently and look for information as you read so that you will be able to summarize.  Use your steps as you read.  You may lay your head down or close your eyes when you are done so that I will know you are finished."
  4. I will walk around the room as they read.  I will help them if there are any problems.  Once everyone is finished reading I will have them all sit up.  "Now that everyone is done, we are going to use a semantic map to help us summarize the story.  Can anyone tell me what the main topic is?  That’s right!  Its about using cow manure.  Because that is the main topic I am going to put it in the circle on my map."  I will write this on the map so the children can see.  "Now let's talk about where they get the manure and what they do with it."  I will write the key words and information they tell me.  I will write "cow manure makes electricity" for the main idea.  Then I will write where they get the cow manure and how they get it (from a farm and use a machine in the barn and pasture).  It will branch off the main topic circle.  "Does everyone understand what I am doing?  Now I want everyone to finish reading the article.  When you are finished reading I want you to make a semantic map and then write a summary of the article.  Remember to write only key information.  You may use your bookmark or look at the board to help you.  I will walk around to help you as needed."  I will help them start and then walk around the room to observe them and help as needed.
  5. To assess them I will take up their semantic maps and summaries.  I will check them to see if they followed the rules and wrote only important information.  I will also observe them as they work.  I will have a checklist of the key points they should pick out from the story.  I will check off things they say and make note of any unimportant information they give me.  I will also have the children tell their summary of the story to see how well they comprehended it.

References: "Cow Power" by Catherine Clarke Fox, National Geographic Kids. 7 September 2007. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/SpaceScience/Cow-power

Dyle, Erin.  Reading Genie website. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/dylerl.html
Reading Genie site. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie
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