Summing Things Up

Reading to Learn

Tori Hollifield


Rationale: Now that students have learned to read, the must now begin reading with the purpose of learning and comprehension. Summarizing is a great way for students to decide the main ideas of a text. By instructing students on how to construct summaries, they will be equipped with the knowledge of how to better interpret the meaning of the texts they read.




- Rules written on board:

           -Get rid of unnecessary information

            -Pick out the most important information

-  Write a sentence that tells all the main ideas

- How Does 3D Work article (Copy for each child)

-  Paper for each child

-  Pencils for each child

-Highlighters for each child



1. I will introduce this summarizing lesson by explaining to students how important it is that we understand what we read. “Good readers are not only fluent when they read, but they also understand what they read. In order to understand what you read we are going to learn how to summarize, or write a summary. Summarizing helps us pick out the important parts of what you are reading.”


2. Ask “Who can tell me what a summary is?” “That’s right, a summary is a short description of something that you read. Writing summaries is a great way to help you remember what you have read.”


3. ”We are going to read a story about 3D movies. Have you ever wondered how they are made and why they seem so real? We are going to read this article and find out more information. We will use our highlighters to mark down the important information, and our pencils to mark out what is not so important.”


4. ”I am going to pass out a copy of the article to each of you and you will read the first few paragraphs to yourself. Then you will pause and wait for instruction.”


5.”As you read, I want you to highlight the things that you think are the most important in the story. (What the text is about, is there a problem, is there a solution, etc.) You must remember these three key points of summarization: 1) get rid of unnecessary information 2) pick out important details 3) make a sentence with all the important details.”

As students read I will have them highlight important details, and cross out with a pencil the pieces of the text that do not seem important. When students finish, I will have the form their ideas into a web, with the main idea in the middle, and supporting details on the outside.


6. Next, I will have the students share their web and we will create a summarizing sentence by combining the main ideas.


7.The students will read the rest of the text and complete a web when they finish. Students will create a summary on their own.



Collect the summaries and assess them for understanding.




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