Get to the Point

Katie Guyton

Reading to Learn


After children learn how to read, they need to learn how to comprehend what they have read.  They can do this through learning how to summarize what they have read.  Learning what is important to remember can be difficult.  However, everyone can learn how to summarize and comprehend.  This lesson focuses on learning how to comprehend well and summarize.  Children will be able to pick out important information from the text that they have read.


            Bookmark with summarizing tips:

                        Pick out important facts.

                        Remove information that is not very useful, or that does not back up

                        topic sentences.

                        Pick out repeated ideas and delete them.

                        Pick out a topic sentence.

            One copy of National Geographic article for each child.





1.Explain what summarizing and comprehension are.  "Has anyone ever heard of the word summary? Can you tell me what it is? Yes, summarizing is when you read a story or article and can remember important facts from it.  When we summarize something that we have read, we only pick out the important things that we need to remember."

2.Next we will talk about the summarizing strategies that are on the bookmark.  "Can someone read the first step to summarizing?  How can we show what sentences or facts are important?  Yes, we can use our highlighter."  We will continue to go over the other three steps.

3.Next we will take out the National Geographic articles.  They will follow along as I read the article.  I will model fluent reading along with comprehension skills. "National Geographic News says that, according to the International Astronomical Union, a full-fledged planet is an object that orbits the sun and is large enough to have become round due to the force of its own gravity. Because Pluto doesn't meet these standards, the IAU classifies Pluto as a dwarf planet.  After reading this paragraph, what is something important for us to remember?  I think that the words dwarf planets are important, and I am going to use my highlighter and highlight just those two words.  Now you read the rest of the article on your own and pick out some important facts.  Remember to use your highlighter to make those important facts stand out."

4.After everyone is finished reading the article, we will come back together as a class and choose the most important facts.  Once that is done, we will make up four sentences that describe the whole article.  These four sentences will be the summary.


            Have students pick out an article on their own, something that they are interested in.  Students should highlight the important things in the article and write a short summary of the things highlighted.  This will show me that they know who to read, comprehend, and summarize.


Summing It up by Laura Ashley Norman

National Geographic Article

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