Super Sweet Summarization

Reading to Learn Design

 Faith Karl

 

Rationale

Reading is the initial step for students to learn new information. While reading, it is crucial for them to differentiate between significant and insignificant information. In this lesson I will teach students how to summarize. Summarizing is a skill that all beginning readers need to practice in order to be successful in reading comprehension. I will explicitly teach the strategy of summarizing by first explaining and modeling, then guided practice, and finally individual summarization of a text with comprehension questions.

Materials

"Can Animals be Nice?" Published by National Geographic Kids

Smartboard copy of article

Handouts of article (1 per child)

Assessment checklist (1 for each student)

Procedures

1. "In today's lesson, we are going to be working on summarization. Can anyone tell me what summarization is? Yes! Summarizing is selecting the most important parts of a text. By doing this, you can find the most useful information without getting confused by things you do not need to know. It is super useful when reading a long book or article that is explaining something."

2. "Before we begin reading, I want to talk about some words that we will encounter in the text that we might not know. These words are: ethics and prompted.

The first word is "ethics".

Ethics are moral ideas that affect how people behave. One ethic may state that you should not call people names. So would a person with a strict code of ethics cheat on a test or try their best on their own? (Answer: try their best.) Please finish this sentence: One ethic I hold about how to treat others is that I must never… (Possible answers include "push," "steal," or "lie.")

The second word is "prompted", or "prompt".

To prompt someone means to assist or encourage someone. For example, a music director might prompt her students by whispering the words to them during a rehearsal. If someone was shy, would you prompt him to join your group by scowling at them or by calling them over? (Answer: calling him over.) Please finish this sentence: When Jill got stuck on a word in the book, the teacher prompted her by… (Possible answers include: "telling her the word," and "helping her sound it out.")"

3. "When we want to summarize a passage, we read a little bit at a time. When we finish reading that small part we look back and figure out the most important parts. We cross out information that does not add value to the main idea. We must be very selective in choosing the important information."

4. "Now that we know what summarization is and why it is important, I am going to model how to do it. To do this, I will use an article titled, "Can Animals be Nice?" We all know that people can be nice, but what about animals?" [Take a vote on whether or not the students think animals can be nice.] "Okay, now we are going to read the article to find out the answer. Watch how I can summarize the first two paragraphs in the article. " [Open "Can Animals be Nice?" on the SmartBoard OR have handouts for each student.] "Remember I only want the important parts of the paragraph. First I am going to read the entire first paragraph…

"Humans have a code of ethics," says Marc Bekoff, an animal behavior expert at the University of Colorado. "If I don't play a certain way, you won't play with me. Some animals have the same code."

Scientists recently discovered that animals who live in groups, such as elephants, foxes, and wolves, are especially likely to follow rules. If they don't, and each does its own thing, the group might break apart. Group members would be forced to live alone. Then they'd have a harder time hunting and raising their young.

"These paragraphs give us some great information. What I am going to do is underline the important parts. We want to figure out what this article is about. Let's see. The first paragraph says that humans have a code of ethics and so do animals. I'm going to underline "Some animals have this same code" because the whole article is about animals, not humans. Then I am going to cross out the rest of the paragraph because it doesn't have any important information. It doesn't matter who said that quote. In the next paragraph, we learn that animals who live in groups such as elephants, foxes, and wolves are likely to follow rules. I think that is important so I will underline it. The next sentences say that if they don't follow the rules, the group will break apart and they would have a hard time hunting and raising their young. That tells us why they have a code and follow it so I will underline that."

At the end, it looks like this:

"Humans have a code of ethics," says Marc Bekoff, an animal behavior expert at the University of Colorado. "If I don't play a certain way, you won't play with me. Some animals have the same code."

Scientists recently discovered that animals who live in groups, such as elephants, foxes, and wolves, are especially likely to follow rules. If they don't, and each does its own thing, the group might break apart. Group members would be forced to live alone. Then they'd have a harder time hunting and raising their young.

5. "Now that we have a pretty good idea of how to summarize, let's try to summarize the next three paragraphs together."

That's probably why a traveling wolf pack stopped and waited to let its limping leader catch up. Similar social ties may have prompted a captive elephant to save her friend from drowning. Selfish reasons certainly motivated the male fox, who wanted to keep playing.

Sometimes, though, animals go out of their way to do what's right, even when there's nothing in it for them. Nobody knows why. "It might simply feel good to be kind, just as it does for humans," says Bekoff.

Read on for four surprising stories about nice behavior in the animal kingdom.

"What is the most important part of this passage? Let's underline the most important parts. Do we think that we should underline any of the examples in the first paragraph?" [Allow for students to voice their ideas.] "No, I don't think so, either. They do not give us any new information that helps us learn about whether or not animals are nice. What will we underline in the second paragraph?" [Encourage students to discuss what they believe are important points.] "Yes, we would underline "animals go out of their way to do what's right, even when there is nothing in it for them." The last sentence (or third paragraph in this section) is important because it tells readers that there are four stories to follow but is not underlined because it does not give us any information about our topic. Therefore, we do not underline it."

End result:

That's probably why a traveling wolf pack stopped and waited to let its limping leader catch up. Similar social ties may have prompted a captive elephant to save her friend from drowning. Selfish reasons certainly motivated the male fox, who wanted to keep playing.

Sometimes, though, animals go out of their way to do what's right, even when there's nothing in it for them. Nobody knows why. "It might simply feel good to be kind, just as it does for humans," says Bekoff.

Read on for four surprising stories about nice behavior in the animal kingdom.

 

6. "Now, you are going to continue working on summarizing. I want you to read the rest of this article and underline the important points. Once you have finished, please come to the front to get a Summary Checklist. This will help you write a summary of the article using the underlined information. Do not worry about it if it looks short. The point of a summary is that it is a short description of an article. Once you have finished, turn to your neighbor to share your summary. See if there are any differences between your summaries and discuss them."

 

7. I will call on individual students to come to my desk and answer a few comprehension questions about the text. I will ask: What happened between the two foxes? How does this show them being nice? Did the chimpanzee act nicely toward the scientist? How do you know? What did you learn about how elephants help one another? Do you think that all animals are nice to one another? Why is it important for animals to be nice to each other?

  

For Students: 

Summary Checklist

 

Did I…

_____ write my topic sentence?

_____ find supporting details to help answer the question?

_____ remove unimportant information by crossing it out?

_____ remove repeated ideas?

_____ create a 3-5 sentence summary?

 

For the teacher:

 

When summarizing, 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:

Langhout, Grace. Super Fun Summarization.

http://www.auburn.edu/~gel0001/langhoutrl.htm

McDevitt, Shannon. Ready, Set, Summarize!

http://www.auburn.edu/~slm0022/mcdevittrl.htm

"Can Animals be Nice?." National Geographic Kids. National Geographic, n.d.

Web. 11 Nov 2013.

<http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/animalsnature/can-animals-

be-nice/>

 

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