Sum it Up!!
Students first learn how to read fluently and once they master fluent reading they need to make sure they comprehend what they read. One way to help students work on comprehension skills is to teach them how to summarize. Summarization should be taught through a series of rules so that students know exactly what they should do in order to summarize. These rules include picking out the important details, deleting repeated information or unimportant information, placing events and keywords in order, and creating a topic sentence to convey what the message of the text.
Copy of Baby Boom! Giant Panada Cubs Give Hope to an Endangered Species for each student http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/AnimalsNature/Giantpandacubs
Book mark with the 5 Summarizing Rules for each student
1. Review silent reading with students. Ask "Who remembers what silent reading is? That's right. It is when you read to yourself in your head but not out loud. Why do you read silently? Right, sometimes we're in places where we have to be quiet when we're reading. Even though we read silently we still need to make sure that we understand what we are reading. One way to do this is to summarize what we read. When you summarize your version of what you read will be shorter than the actual passage or story. Today I'm going to tell you some ways that will help you summarize."
2. Have the steps to summarize written on the board for all students to see. "There are five steps to summarize. First, you pick out all the important details. Second, you find details that are repeated or that are not important to the text and get rid of them. Third, you use key words to highlight the important details. Fourth, you put the key words in order as they appear in the passage. Fifth and lastly, you use the key words list to make a topic sentence."
3. "Now we're going to read an article about panda cubs to practice our summarizing skills." Hand out the article and book mark to each of the students.
4. "Pandas are an endangered animal which means there aren't many of them alive anymore. Since they are endangered, people work every hard to help make sure that pandas are protected. This article we are going to read is going to tell us about how some people are working to protect the pandas."
5. Have students read the article silently paying attention to what they think is important to the article. Once students finish reading, tell them you are going to model how to summarize the first two paragraphs of the article.
6. Read the first two paragraphs out loud with the class then summarize them. "First I found the important details. Then, I made sure that I didn't include any extra information that really isn't important. Now, I'm going to write down the key words on the board. Then I will make a topic sentence." Then I will read the topic sentence.
7. Pass out highlighters to students and have them reread the article highlighting the most important information from the article.
8. Next, I will model for students how to create a web to help them create a paragraph about the article. "Now we're going to talk about what we just read. We're going to use a web to help us organize our summaries to make a paragraph."
9. Use butcher paper to create web on board for all students to see. Explain that the main topic of the paragraph will go in the middle. Then to add the details you draw a line from the main idea to write the supporting details next to it.
10. Then split students into groups of 3 to have them summarize the panda article. "Now each group is going to look at what you highlighted and summarize the article together. You might not have all highlighted the same things so talk about what each of you highlighted to decide what really is the most important to understanding the article. Make sure to use your book marks so that you include all the steps when summarizing. After you decide what's most important make a web as a group and then write each of you will write a paragraph to turn in."
Students will turn in their summaries and the summaries will be graded on their ability to follow the five steps of summarizing and they will also have to turn in the web they created as a group. Students will also be assessed on how well they work in their groups.