Saluting Summarization

A Reading to Learn Design

By: Kylie Brown

 

Rationale: When children have learned to read with accuracy and fluency, it is important for them to continue to grow as readers by comprehending what they read. This is the ultimate goal of reading. In this step, reading to learn, we will focus on summarizing. Summarizing helps students read to learn. In this lesson, students will learn to summarize by teaching them to pick out the important parts of the text and delete redundant or unnecessary parts of the text.

 

Materials:

-Buck's Heroes by Johnny Mayo (Class set and teacher copy)

- Markers for each group

- Poster with summarizing rules:

            1. Delete unimportant or repeated information

            2. Locate important information and highlight

            3. Write a topic sentence

-Overhead/document camera

-Pencil and paper

-Assessment chart

 

Procedure:

1."Today, class, we are going to talk more about comprehension. Who can tell me what it means to comprehend?" (Allow a few students to respond). "Great! Comprehension does mean to understand the meaning and the message of what you read. Today, we are focusing on a strategy that will help you with this. It is called summarizing. When we summarize it is kind of like giving a recap of what is in the text. This is how we can remember the really important meaning of the text."

 

2."Now, take a minute to think back to what we have been talking about in social studies. (Wait time). "Yes! We have been talking about American soldiers. What is some of the vocabulary we have been talking about? We talked about some of the honors that a soldier may receive. What is the difference between a Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart Medal?" (Take a few answers and discuss why each of the medals is given). "We also discovered that soldiers use many different types of vehicles. Can you recall what some these vehicles are?" (Listen to a few answers from students).

 

3."Good, now that we have refreshed our minds, we can get back to summarizing." (Bring out the poster with the summary rules on it). Tell students "your job is to copy down each of these rules as we talk about them. The first rule of summarizing is to delete unimportant information." (Allow a little time for students to write it down). "In order to do this, we have to pick out only the really important parts of the text. If we see something that we know isn't really important we can mark it out or if it is in a textbook we can mentally mark it out." (Have students write down the second rule). "So our second rule says to find the really important information and make note of it. This means we can underline it in the text or write down the key words/phrases. The last rule is to write a topic sentence." (Let students write this down). "We are going to practice this in a minute together because it is a little harder than the other two. This means that you use the important parts of the text and write a sentence. This sentence should capture the most important parts within a text."

 

4. Give students a copy of the book. You can also display the book on the document camera as you read. "Ok class; let's look at the first paragraph together:"

 

It was October 2000 when Buck made the special trip to Washington, D.C., to be part of the 4th Vietnam Dog Handlers Reunion. Of the 250 Vietnam Era Dog Handlers in Washington that beautiful autumn weekend, Buck's long-time friend was the only one who brought his four-legged friend along to be part of the weekend events. Over the years, Buck had heard many stories of his master's scout dogs in Vietnam. Tiger was killed in action. Kelly walked point and saved his handler's life and the lives of infantrymen that walked behind the Dog Man and his partner. Jack was proud to be the only civilian canine present that Friday afternoon as the handlers gathered at the Vietnam Memorial to lay a wreath in honor of all the soldiers and War Dogs who did not return from Vietnam.

 

"Let's look at the first sentence, make sure you are following along with me: It was October 2000 when Buck made the special trip to Washington, D.C., to be part of the 4th Vietnam Dog Handlers Reunion. "Sometimes it is important to know the dates of things, but for the purpose of just understanding the main points of this book we don't really need to know the date." (Make an X through the date). "But I'm going to underline 4th Vietnam Dog Handlers Reunion, because that sounds important. Let's keep reading: Of the 250 Vietnam Era Dog Handlers in Washington that beautiful autumn weekend, Buck's long-time friend was the only one who brought his four-legged friend along to be part of the weekend events. Hmm…I think the part about 250 Vietnam Era Dog Handlers might be important so I'm going to underline it.  "That beautiful autumn weekend I'll make an X through because I don't think I really need to know that. Buck's long-time friend and four-legged friend I think that part may be important to the rest of the story, so I'm going to underline those parts. Reading the rest of the paragraph I'm also going to underline, Tiger was killed in action, Kelly walked point and saved his handler's life and the lives of infantrymen, and handlers gathered at the Vietnam Memorial to lay a wreath in honor of all the soldiers and War Dogs who did not return from Vietnam.

So now that we've applied rules 1 and 2 of summarizing to this paragraph I'm going to demonstrate how to use rule 3 and create a topic sentence using parts I underlined. I've got 250 Vietnam Era Dog Handlers, Buck's long-time friend, four-legged friend, Tiger was killed in action, Kelly walked point and saved his handler's life and the lives of infantrymen, and handlers gathered at the Vietnam Memorial to lay a wreath in honor of all the soldiers and War Dogs who did not return from Vietnam. Now I need to make this into a sentence that makes sense. Using these parts of the paragraphs I will make my topic sentence: Even if it meant sparing their own, War Dogs saved many lives in Vietnam and for that sacrifice, a wreath was placed in honor of all the soldiers and War Dogs who did not return from Vietnam.

Does anyone have any questions?

 

5. "Now it is going to be your turn to practice summarizing. You have the rest of this book and you are to go through each paragraph. You need to use the rule to break down each paragraph how we just did. You should have a topic sentence for each paragraph. When you are done, you will need to turn this in to me."

 

Assessment: Review the topic sentences and the way the student marked through their copy of the article. I will use the checklist to ensure the student followed directions and understood how to summarize effectively.

 

 

Did the student?

Yes

No

Get rid of unimportant information?

 

 

Get rid of repeated information?

 

 

Underline important information?

 

 

Write an organized topic sentence using only the important information?

 

 

 

Resources:

Mayo, Johnny. Buck's Heroes. Columbia, SC: Wentworth Publishing, 2004. Print.

 

Patrick, Kate. Soaring Summarizing!

http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/patrickrl.htm

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