Become a Super Summarizer!

 

 

Reading to Learn

Courtney Jones

 

 

Rationale:

In order for students to be able to read to learn they must obtain several reading comprehension strategies.  This lesson will teach students the importance of using the summarizing strategy while reading informational texts by focusing on important details. Students will reach their goal of becoming super summarizers through multiple explanations, modeling how a good reader summarizes, guided practice with an engaging summarization activity, and independent practice.

 

 

Materials: A Book About Your Skeleton by Ruth Belov Gross (class set), ELMO, copy of the page that discusses hard bones, copy of the page that discusses sizes and locations of bones (class set), assessment checklist (class set), comprehension questions (class set)

 

 

Procedures:

 

Explain to students why the new idea is valuable:

Say: Summarizing is a strategy you can use when you're reading longer texts.  A good time to use this strategy would be while you read informational books or a chapter book that contains lots of information.  A time when you would not have to summarize would be during a short story.  Summarizing helps us to see the important ideas without all of the little details.

 

Review vocabulary:

The book we're reading today, A Book About Your Skeleton, contains some new vocabulary terms.  A few of those are cranium, clavicle, and scapula.  Let's talk about that first word, cranium.  Cranium is just the scientific name for bones in your head that are near your brain.   It is not your entire head.  You might say, "I bumped my cranium while climbing on the playground."  Who would be more likely to know lots about your cranium? A doctor or a police officer? You all try to finish my sentence:  When my friend and I bumped craniums we… (Possible ending: were in severe pain.)

 

Explain how to use the new concept:

Say:  While summarizing you look at one paragraph or one page at a time.  Although you cannot write in your books, a helpful thing to do is mentally cross out unimportant details and highlight main ideas.  You must be careful what you choose to keep and cross out so that all important information remains in your summary. 

 

Model the new concept:

(Display copy of text using ELMO.)

Say:  Let's take a look at a page inside our book.  It says:

"It's a good thing that bones are hard.  If you bumped your head you might get a headache.  But the soft squashy brain inside your head would be safe.  Your head bones are like a hard hat.  They keep your brain from getting hurt."

I'm thinking the problem with this page is that it repeats its' ideas using different words.  Let me show you how I would use only important information from this page to summarize it in one sentence.  I'm going to cross out minor details and underline important ones.  (Leave copy of text under the ELMO but make the following marks:)

"It's a good thing that bones are hard.  If you bumped your head you might get a headache.  But the soft squashy brain inside your head would be safe.  Your head bones are like a hard hat.  They keep your brain from getting hurt."

Now I can form a sentence.  Summary: Bones in your head are hard in order to protect your brain.

 

Simple practice under teacher guidance:

(Pass out copy of the page that discusses sizes and locations of bones.)

Say:  Now that I have showed you how I would summarize, let's try it together using the following passage:

"You have more than 200 bones in your body -- long bones, short bones, flat bones, curved bones, little bones, big bones.  There are bones in your head and bones in your toes and bones almost everywhere in between.  All of your bones put together are your skeleton."

First, I want you to underline the important information on your copy of the passage:

"You have more than 200 bones in your body -- long bones, short bones, flat bones, curved bones, little bones, big bones.  There are bones in your head and bones in your toes and bones almost everywhere in between.  All of your bones put together are your skeleton."

From what we underlined we can tell that the author wants us to know the size, shape, and location of bones in our body.  Our summary could be: Hundreds of bones that are all different shapes and sizes connect to make up our skeleton.  This gives us the main idea without repeating several words over and over.

 

Whole Text:

Say: We are going to continue practicing so that we may become super summarizers!  Now that you've had some practice, you will summarize on your own using the rest of A Book About Your Skeleton.   

Booktalk:  This book will tell you all about your body!  Starting from the head and working to your toes, you will learn interesting facts about your skeleton.  Diagrams of the different bones will be illustrated to help you visualize the text.

Say: Start reading where we left off.  As you read I want you to stop after each page just as we did during our practice exercise.  You should write one sentence for each page of the book. 

 

Assessment:

Say:  Once you have a sentence summary from each page I want you to combine all the sentences into one paragraph.  If you think your paragraph is fine as is you may leave it and answer the comprehension questions at the bottom of the page.  If you think your summary could be shortened anymore, eliminate unnecessary details before answering the comprehension questions.  Be sure and do your best work because I will be checking to see if you choose important information while summarizing the pages.

 

While reviewing each students work use the following checklist:

 

Did the student…

Yes

No

Delete unimportant information?

 

 

Delete repeated information?

 

 

Organize items with a big idea?

 

 

Select a topic?

 

 

Write an inclusive, simple topic sentence to summarize the passage?

 

 

 

References:

 

Image from Microsoft Word ClipArt

 

Short and Sweet Summarization by Caitlin Steeb http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/steebcrl.htm

 

Gross, Ruth Belov.  A Book About Your Skeleton.  New York. Scholastic. 1994.

 

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