Action, Action Read All About It!

Reading to Learn


Newspaper boy

By : Haley Hunt

Rationale: The goal of reading is to comprehend the text.  To some, comprehension can be a barrier during their reading.  This may be because they are having difficulty reading or because they lack successful strategies that would make comprehension easier for them.  Many strategies exist for providing the student a means for understanding text.  Summarization is one of these strategies that allow students to take the important information from a passage and remember it for further use, while disregarding unimportant or trivial information. Students need to be instructed on how to summarize efficiently. The purpose of this lesson will be to teach students how to summarize by asking themselves questions and learning the important steps of summarization.


Materials: White board (to write questions and steps), white board markers, pencils, paper (to write summary), Class copies of National Geographic for Kids magazine (use article Giant Jellyfish Invasion) article talk: There are some giant jellyfish called Lion’s Mane Jellyfish that are invading Japan, and it is causing a major problem. I guess we will have to read more about it to find out what happens.



1. Does anyone know what summarizing means?  Good Job!  It means to find the most important facts and form a main idea from a passage we are reading.  If is important for us to know how to summarize and be good at it because it helps us better understand what we read.  We are going to practice summarizing today by reading some passages silently and then summarizing them.  Does everyone remember how to read silently?  So, we do not say the words out loud as we read, but instead them to ourselves quietly.  I will first show you how to summarize, and then, you will do it on your own. Or problem. We should read the rest of the article to find out what happens.  I will also ask if anyone knows what a tentacle is? Yes! it is a long flexible arm usually attached to an animals head or body. I will then ask if a tentacle is more like a arm or a foot? I will also ask the class if they know what a bell is when we are talking about animals? Correct! A bell is the top of the jellysfish. I will ask the class if a bell is more like a head or a leg.

2. As I read aloud this National Geographic for kids article entitled Giant Jellyfish Invasion, I want all of you to read along silently and listen for things you think are unimportant.  After reading, I will call on students to first name things the thought were not important, and secondly I will ask for things you thought were important.  The class will gather the information on one of the main ideas.  I will then highlight all the main ideas we kept and write the summary of the article.  Our summary should sound something like this: "Growing Jellyfish as large as a van are taking over the oceans of japan."  See how this has just the important information?  We took out the parts that were repeated and parts that were not part of the main idea.  So, now are you ready to summarize on your own?

3. I will hand out individual copies of the National Geographic article entitled, Toad Tunnels Built to Help Amphibians Cross Roads to each student.  I will also give each student a highlighter and a black marker.  I want you to read this article silently once and then go back and pick out the unimportant and redundant information.( Unimportant means that is not important, or as special to you as other things. We would use unimportant: “That sentence was unimportant to me, so I left it out.”)  Mark out those sentences with the black marker.  Then, find the main ideas and highlight those with the highlighter.  Finally, I want you to create your own summary of the article.  After everyone is finished we will go over the summaries in class.  I will walk around while you are working to make sure everyone is doing it correctly.

4. For the assessment I will bring the class back together when everyone is finished and we will all discuss the article together. I will make a list of everyone's important facts and I will be able to assess which students are getting it and which students do not understand correctly. I will call on students to give their topic sentence and we will determine as a class which information is important and which topic sentences are appropriate. We will put together a class paragraph that successfully summarizes, or puts in our own words, what we learned from the article. I will ask the students to help me come up with complete sentences; therefore I will be able to understand the comprehension of the article. I will also have essay questions I would like to have the students answer.

Essay Questions.

1.     What size should the tunnel be, and why?

2.     Is there a certain time when the toads breed? If so when?

3.     What are the park rangers going to do to the roads?


Roach, John. Toad Tunnels. Built to Help Amphibians Cross Roads.  2005. National Geographic



 News Online:

Jernigan, Katelyn: Somebody's Summarizing! - Giant Jellyfish Invasion.