Summarizing Before Summer
Reading to Learn
By: Christine Acker
The main goal of this lesson is to have the student be able to
explain what the passage is about by reducing the text with hundreds or
thousands of words and condensing that into a compact general idea.
This goal is important because summarization helps students understand
information in the text better, permits inferences by filling in the knowledge
gaps, and facilitates reconstruction of the text for later recall.
Ultimately, students will benefit from this lesson because they will be
better able to connect the text with their prior knowledge and add to their
schema. We will do modeling
activities and guided practice to reach this goal of successfully summarizing.
Passage of “A New Home”
Bobby the Brave
Say, “Today we will be
learning how to summarize passages by first finding the main
topic of the passage.
will do this by testing our guess throughout the passage.
A topic is a general statement that includes all trivia.”
Before the teacher and student jump right into summarizing, they
will first review background knowledge.
The teacher will first explain the vocabulary word in
first word we will be looking at today is immigrants.
Immigrants are people who move from one country to
teacher will model the example by using it in a sentence.
grandfather was an immigrant back in 1933 when he came from
Italy to America.”
Then teacher will provide sample questions about the word.
Say, “Which one of
these is more like an apprentice:
An Italian man who doesn’t speak much English and is new
to the country or an American soldier who was born in Virginia?”
Once discussion has been made about the questions,
provide an open ended sentence for the student where they will
have to use scaffolding.
Say, “I thought he might
be an immigrant because…” Other words that will be reviewed
will be government, culture, and diverse.
Once background knowledge has been used by introducing new
vocabulary, the teacher will then model the new concept.
Say, “How would I
summarize a long and difficult text that explains what
Then model how you would go about doing this task.
Say, “I‘ll cross out
unimportant details, then underline important ideas & put it
into 1 sentence. What's important? What is immigration? Who
wrote this passage? Why did immigration take place?”
Show students how you would go about doing this and
talk out loud while you are crossing out words so the student
hears your thought process behind it.
Once they have modeled an example, teacher and students will try
to summarize a paragraph together.
Say, “Today we
will practice our summarizing skills with the book
book is about a young boy who is making a big move from one
country to another and comes across from problems along the way.
While reading, stop and write a summarizing
sentence after each page.”
Then move on specifically to one passage in the story.
Say, “Today, we
will read pages 5-9. What kind of stories do you think Breugel
told with his art? While reading, stop and write a summarizing
sentence after each page.”
Teacher and student will ask what’s the passage is about,
what the point of the passage, and then ultimately reach a
Next, guided practice will take place where
student will be deleting trivia, subordinating from specific
information to general, and generating a topic sentence.
Teacher will ask, "What parts of
this passage don't seem as important as others? Do some parts
not talk about immigration at all?"
Then teacher will model and say, "Hmmm,
I don't think we need this part because it doesn't have much to
do with the main idea, so I will cut that out of the summary."
Then teacher will notice many
specific details and model how to minimize that to general
information. The student will then demonstrate this same
strategy. Then student and teacher will formulate a topic
sentence once completing all these steps and deleting the
Once student and teacher have done this example together, the
student will then be led to the assessment part of the lesson.
The teacher will assign a new paragraph for students to
demonstrate use of their strategy or evaluate student class work
using a checklist.
Teacher will ask students comprehension questions of how and why
rather than trivia questions.
The Reading Genie.
A New Home.
Murray, Geralyn. Summarizing PowerPoint.