Supercalifragilisticexpiali – SUMMARIZING!

Reading to Learn Lesson

Janie Brady


Rationale: Comprehension is a very important skill for students to learn when they are learning how to read. Summarizing is an effective strategy for students to use in order to comprehend a text. In this lesson, students will learn how to summarize while they are reading. Summarizing skills will be taught by teaching students to do the following: pick out the important details, pick out the less important details, highlight the key words, and acquire a topic sentence. Once students are able to follow these steps and summarize, they will ultimately summarize and comprehend the text.





--White Board

--Dry Erase Markers

--A bookmark for each student with the 5 summarization steps on it

 Summarization steps:

    Pick out important details that are necessary to the story.

1. Pick out the less important or repeated ideas from the passage and eliminate them.

2. Highlight the important and necessary details using key words

3. Pick a topic sentence.

4. Invent a topic sentence if there is none.

 --Copy of Is Pluto No Longer a Planet National Geographic Kids News for each student.




1. Comprehension is being able to understand what we are reading and then remember it after. Today we are going to learn about summarization. When we summarize, we choose the most important parts of the story or passage that we are reading."


2. Explanation. "To summarize we have 5 easy steps to remember." Have the steps written on a poster and displayed so that students can see. "The first step is to pick out important details that are necessary to the story. The second step is to pick out the less important ideas. The third step is to highlight the important and necessary key words. Next, we pick a topic sentence. Our last step is to invent a topic sentence if we don't have one. I'm going to pass out bookmarks to each of you that have these steps on them so you won't forget our 5 steps of summarization.


3. "Alright, now that we are familiar with comprehension and summarization, we are going to read a passage from an article and practice. This is an article titled Is Pluto No Longer Considered a Planet? In this article, National Geographic is discussing the varying opinions about whether Pluto meets the requirements of a standard planet. Lets read to see what they think."


"Read the first paragraph to yourself. While you are reading, make sure to pay close attention to what you are reading so that you can use the information to summarize the paragraph. When summarizing, remember that the purpose is to pick out the important details."


4. After the class is finished reading, summarize the first paragraph with the whole class. While doing this as a class, make sure to model the five steps.

"After reading the first paragraph, here are the main points that I came up with." Write the following on the board:

1. There are questions whether Pluto is a planet. 

2. National Geograohic says that it does not meet the standards of a planet.

 "Did anybody get anything different than I did?" Write answers on the board.

My next step is to pick out the less important points from the paragraph. I think these would be: 

1. This is according to the International Astronomical Union. 

2. 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.

Write these on the board. "Did anyone get something different?" Write answers on the board.

The next step is to highlight the key words. I thought that the keywords were Pluto, National Geographic, Dwarf Planet. Did anybody get another word?" Write answers on the board. 

Next, I need to write a topic sentence. The topic sentence I came up with is: "According to National Geographic, Pluto is no longer considered a planet because it is a dwarf planet."  I put this together by looking back at my key words and my important details.

Since we just came up with our topic sentence, we don't need to do step 5."


5. " Now that we have gone over summarizing together, I would like for you to read the rest of the article silently and summarize it using our steps. If you need any help, you can look on the board or at your bookmarks. Make sure to use your highlighter to highlight key words in the article."


6. "When you have finished reading, take out your piece of paper and pencil, and then summarize the article. Make sure that you remember to list the important details of the article. Separate the important details from the less important ones. Then, make sure you list your keywords and form your topic sentence using your keywords and your main points. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask."


Assessment: I will take up the student's summarizations to see how well they understood the concept.  I will use the bookmarks as my own checklist to make sure that they used all of the steps of summarization correctly. While they are working, I will walk around to make sure that they are using the steps written on the board and on their bookmarks to stay on task.

- What is the debate?

- Why do they believe the rules are not clear?

- What do textbooks say about Pluto now? 


Hannah Gooden, Something to Remember

Is Pluto No Longer a Planet?, National Geographic Kids

Pluto GIF -

Return to Expeditions index