Egyptian Summarization

Reading to Learn Lesson Plan

By: Emily Childs



Rationale: After learning how to decode and read, students now need to read to learn. This experience causes them to slow down in their reading and to comprehend the words on the page. In this lesson, will be learning the reading strategy of summarization. This is vital for good readers to do in order to further understand the material and remember what they have read.
For readers to achieve this goal, the students will learn to pick out important details from a passage and cross out unimportant parts.



Copy of Ancient Egypt-Making Mummies for every student

Pencil for each student

Expo marker

White board

Copy of Ancient Egypt-The Legend of the Pharaoh's Curse for every student




1. Explain why we will be working on summarizing.

Say: Today, we are going to learn how to summarize. Does anyone know what that means? Listen to student responses. When you read, summarizing is getting the main idea and details from the passage. We are going to practice this today. It is important for us the learn how to summarize because eliminates extra parts and helps us remember the overall idea of the passage. When you read a chapter book, summarizing in your head helps to keep up with what has happened in the story without being overloaded with information.

2. Review/Background Knowledge:

Say: We are starting our unit on Ancient Egypt in social studies today. In Ancient Egypt, the people often preserved their leaders after death. Can anyone guess at what the work preserve means? What clues might you already have from the word or what you know about the time period? How I learned this word in third grade was to think or preserves or jellies and jams. These items can stay in your pantry or refrigerator for a long time and they are still safe to eat!

Which of the following is preserving?: freeze drying, cutting up, or refrigerating food

In Ancient Egypt terms, to preserve meant to save something for a very long time. The people wanted to save their rulers and prepare them for something they called the "afterlife".

3. Explain the summarizing.

Say: Summarizing is combining all of the information into smaller, more important chunks. This means we do not have to know everything about the topic. Summarizing is picking the main ideas and key pieces from the story.

4. Model summarizing.

(Write this example on the board as you are explaining it) For example, if I told you this weekend, 'I played at the park with my dog for six hours. First we played fetch then we ran 2 miles around the course. The next day I went to my friend's house for lunch. We ate fruit and sandwiches. My favorite sandwich was peanut butter banana. I had a fantastic weekend!' This has a lot of details in it, but when we are summarizing information, or making it smaller, we don't need every detail. From the story I just told you and wrote on the board, I can cross out the specific food and times I ate.

Cross through "six hours, 2 miles around the course, fruit and sandwiches, My favorite sandwich was peanut butter banana. I had a fantastic weekend!" From what is left on the board, what 2 small sentences could I make that would summarize my weekend story?

Final product: "I played with my dog in the park and ate lunch at my friend's house this weekend."

It is as simple as that! We just pick the main parts of the story and cross through extra details we don't need for us to summarize.

5. Perform a simple whole group practice of summarizing with the teacher.

Students will read through all of Ancient Egypt-Making Mummies silently.

Say: When you are reading, underline the most important things from our passage. This will help us remember what facts and ideas we need to include in our summary. If you read something and think it is unimportant, draw a line through those words. Be sure you can still read the word if it is important and you need to read it later. Some unimportant things in a passage include any repetitions, examples, definitions and descriptions.

After they have finished reading the class will discuss it together. Talk about what was underlined as important and what was crossed out of the passage and why. Then as a class, call on students to summarize the passage in 3 sentences.

6. Engage students with a booktalk to motivate their reading.

Say: In this next story about Ancient Egypt, we are going to read about a curse. In this time, people were very superstitious so these curses were taken seriously. This Pharaoh's Curse was said to lead to deaths.  (Leads to assessment talking and description in #7).

7. Conduct student assessment.

Say: You will now read Ancient Egypt-The Legend of the Pharaoh's Curse and cross through any unimportant facts and underline what should be included in a summary. You are then going to write a summary of the article by yourself and staple the article to it when you turn it in. Give a time limit of 20-30 minutes to turn in the work.



Ancient Egypt-The Legend of the Pharaoh's Curse:

Ancient Egypt-Making Mummies:

Steeb, Caitlin. Short and Sweet Summarization.

Pyramid Picture:



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