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Super Fun Summarization

Reading to Learn

Grace Langhout

 

Rationale

Reading is the initial step for students to learn new information. For students to learn they must be able to summarize text. It is crucial for them to differentiate between insignificant and significant information. In this lesson I will teach students how to summarize. I will explicitly teach the strategy of summarizing by first explaining and modeling, then guided practice, and finally individual summarization of a text and answering comprehension questions.

 

Materials

"A New Home". Published by ReadWorks.org

Overhead of "A New Home" (just 1 page because the article is only a page)

Overhead pen (1)

Photocopies of "A New Home"

Assessment checklist for each student

 

Procedures

1. Explain Why the Strategy is Useful

Summarizing is selecting the most important parts of a text. It is super useful when reading a long book or article that is explaining something. There can be so much information it can be confusing, but if we use summarizing it makes it less confusing. This will help us know the most important parts of the text, and we will not have to worry about irrelevant information.

 

2. Background Knowledge

There are a couple of vocabulary words we need to go over before reading this article. The two words are immigrants and diverse. The first word is immigrant. An immigrant is someone who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. Someone from China that comes to American to live for the rest of their life would be called an immigrant. Who would be considered an immigrant: a girl born and raised in Alabama that still lives in Alabama today or a boy born in Panama that lives in Florida now? The boy would be considered an immigrant. Now finish this sentence for me: We have an immigrant living in our neighbor hood, she is from… (Possible completion: England). The second word is diverse. Diverse means different. In this article diverse refers to people that are different from one another. If a classroom is made up of students from America, Japan, Mexico, Cambodia, and England that would be considered a diverse classroom. Which classroom would be considered diverse: a classroom with all boy who all play football or a class of boy and girls who all play different sports? The answer would be the classroom of boys and girls. Now finish this sentence: My group of friends is very diverse we… (Possible completion: all like different flavors of ice cream, and all go to different schools.)

 

3. Explain How to Use the Strategy

When we want to summarize a passage, we read a little bit at a time, like a paragraph or a page. When we finish reading that small part we look back and figure out the most important parts. We eliminate information that does not add value to the main idea. We must be very selective in choosing the important information. Summarizing lets us understand what the most important parts of a long passage are.

 

4. Model the Strategy

Now watch how I can summarize this paragraph in the article "A New Home". Remember I only want the important parts of the paragraph. First I am going to read the entire first paragraph. Anthony Castillo calls two countries home. The 8-year-old was born in the Dominican Republic, a country in the Caribbean Sea. Later, Anthony moved to New York City. Some of his relatives still live in the Dominican Republican. So this paragraph gives us some great information. What I am going to do is underline the important parts. We want to figure out who this paragraph is about and what is information is important for figuring that out. The paragraph is about Anthony Castillo, so now we need to find out about him. Anthony Castillo calls two countries home. The 8-year-old was born in the Dominican Republic, a country in the Caribbean Sea. Later, Anthony moved to New York City. Some of his relatives still live in the Dominican Republican. What is significant about Anthony Castillo? He has two home countries, the Dominican Republic and the United States. Does everyone notice what information is important and what information is not? What is underlined is the important information, which becomes the summary. The summary is: Anthony Castillo has two home countries, the Dominican Republic and the United States.

 

5. Simple Guided Practice

Now that we have a pretty good idea of how to summarize, let's try to summarize the second paragraph together. "I didn't like living in the United States at first. But now I do," Anthony told Weekly Reader. Anthony started to like his new home after he made some friends. He said that, in a way, he has already "seen the world" by having lived in two countries. What is the most important part of this passage? Let's underline the most important parts. "I didn't like living in the United States at first. But now I do," Anthony told Weekly Reader. Anthony started to like his new home after he made some friends. He said that, in a way, he has already "seen the world" by having lived in two countries. Now we can put together the important parts to make our summary. So our summary for the second paragraph is: At first Anthony Castillo did not like living in the United States, but then he made new friends and it soon became his new home. This summary gives us the main idea of the paragraph, and gets rid of the unimportant stuff.

 

 

6. Whole Text Practice

We are going to continue working on summarizing. We are going to read the rest of this article. I want you guys to read the last four paragraphs and write a summary for each one, so you will write four summaries. Why is the United States called the melting pot? Where do most of the immigrants come from? What does it mean if people are all different? How is the United States diverse?

 

7. Assessment

I will call on you guys to read and summarize the paragraphs from our article and answer comprehension questions about what you have read. So I will have the students read the last four paragraphs of "A New Home", using the summarization checklist (see below). I will also ask comprehension questions: Who is Anthony Castillo? Where does he live now? Where is he from? How many immigrants live in the United States? Why is the United States called a melting pot? Why is the United States considered a diverse country? Where do many of the immigrants come from?

 

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:

Steeb, Caitlin. Short and Sweet Summarization.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/steebcrl.htm

Weekly Reader. "A New Home." Weekly Reader Corporation, 2007. Web.

http://www.readworks.org/sites/default/files/bundles/passages-new-home_files.pdf

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