Super Summarizers



 Reading to Learn Design

Rachel Carter



Rationale: Being able to summarize a reading is an important part of comprehension. Summarizing helps students to realize what is important in stories and what is not. In this lesson, students will learn how to leave out useless information in reading, pick out the important information, and create a topic sentence.




Class set of the article What's Wild About African Wild Dogs

2 pieces of paper for each student

Pencils (one for each student)

Dry erase markers


Bookmark with 3 summarization rules 1) delete information that is not important or that is repeated, 2) highlight important facts and details by using key words and/or headings, 3) and find a topic sentence that speaks to the main idea (if there is no topic sentence than make one)

Enlarged semantic chart (with circle in middle for main topic/idea, lines for key points)



1)"Today we are going to talk about comprehension. Does anyone know what comprehension is?" (wait for responses) "Comprehension is remembering what you just read and being able to apply it to other things. To become better at comprehending, we are going to use another strategy to help us. Does anyone know what summarizing is?" (wait for responses) "Summarizing is being able to write/talk about only the important parts of a story. We are going to use three steps and a story map to help us."

2)Pass out the bookmarks and read the three steps out loud: 1) Delete information that is not important or repeated, 2) highlight the important and necessary details by using key words/headings, 3) Find topic sentence that covers main idea/create a topic sentence if there's not one

3)"Now we are going to read an article on African Wild Dogs and how they are different than our household pets we know as dogs...Let's read to find out how they are different!" Read What's Wild About African Wild Dogs (individually and silently) Model how to read silently. Sit on the floor with book in front of you and mouth words but do not make a sound. Use finger to help read. "Please read the article and then put your head down when you are finished. You may use your steps on your bookmark as you read."

4)I will walk around the room as they read and answer any questions. "Now that everyone is done reading we will use our semantic map to help us summarize the article. Can anyone tell me what the main topic is? That means what the article is mainly about. So, the main topic in this article is African Wild Dogs. Now, I'm going to put that inside the circle on my map." I will write on the map so students can see. "Now let's talk about what makes the wild dogs different than the dogs we know." I will write the key words they tell me. This will branch off the main topic circle. "Everyone finish the map and write a summary for the article, you may use your bookmark and look at the board." I will walk around the room.

5)To assess them I will take up their semantic maps and summaries. I will check them to see if they wrote summaries with important information, etc. I will have a checklist of important things they should have picked out from the article. Ask reading comprehension questions such as, "How are African Wild Dogs different than our household pets?" "How are they alike?"




DeFoor, Katie. Summing it All Up!


What's Wild About African Wild Dogs. Catherine Clark Fox. National Geographic Kids.

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