Super Summarizers!

Reading to Learn

Jana Pitman


Rationale: The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension. Comprehension shows that the student has understand the material and information read. Summarization is one of the key strategies to test for reading comprehension. When students are summarizing they are identifying the main ideas and highlighting important facts through out the reading. Summarization helps students understand their reading easier because it condenses the material and they are able to comprehend the main idea. This lesson will help students gain the skills to summarize a given passage. Students will use the following summarization rules: choose a topic sentence, cross out unimportant details or repeated ideas, and highlight important ideas and put into one sentence.



1. Summarization rules posted on the board

2. Copy of "Giant Jellyfish Invasion" (one for each student)

3. Copy of "Honey Bee Mystery" (one for each student)

4. Document camera

5. Paper

6. Pencils

7. Highlighters



1. Say: "Hello everyone! Today we are going to practice a new strategy while we read called summarizing! This strategy is going to help us comprehend our reading better as well as help us become great readers! Can anyone tell me one reason we read? (Wait for student's answers) Yes we read so we can learn new information! Today we are going to focus on our reading comprehension. Does anyone know what comprehension means? Comprehending means to understand what we are reading. In order for us to better understand what we are reading we need to learn how to summarize after we read."


2. Say: "Can anyone tell me what the word summarize means? Summarize means you put together all the important information about what you are reading. You can summarize articles, books, or passages. When we summarize we are looking specifically for the most important parts of the reading and we are deleting information that is not useful."


3. Say: "We will need to follow some very important steps in order to summarize. This will give us a strategy to use in order to figure out what we are reading about. Today we are going to practice reading and summarizing passages. We will practice together first, then I am going to let you try on your own."


4. Say: "Before we begin summarization we need to learn our summarization rules! The first rule is: choose the main idea of the article. The second rule is: cross out useless sentences or repeated ideas, these sentences are not significant to the main idea. The third rule is: highlight the important facts and ideas and condense these into just a few sentences. Lets get started!"


5. Say: "Today, we will practice by reading an article and summarizing it. Make sure you refer to our summarization rules as we begin working (The rules will be posted on a poster in the front of the room). Lets also make sure we put the summary into your own words. We need to make sure to change the sentence so it does not sound the same as the author. The best way to do this is to read slowly, reread important details, and make notes while reading. Lastly, we should cross out any information that is not helpful when trying to understand the main idea of the article."


6. Say: "The article I just passed out to you is called "Giant Jellyfish Invasion." This article is about huge jellyfish that are causing a lot of problems in the sea of Japan. Where are these jellyfish invading? How large are these jellyfish? What kid of problems are these jellyfish causing? Why do you think all of these jellyfish are coming to the Sea of Japan? Our vocabulary word we are going to be focusing on is supersize.

- "Let's look at our two new vocabulary words. Supersize means something is larger than normal.

- A supersize item must be very big. It would not be small like a misquito.

- Which of these would be supersized? A hippo or a kitten? A large French fry or a kiddy French fry?

- Finish this sentence: The waiter asked the man…if he would like a supersize French fry and drink.


7. Say: "Now we are going to start reading the passage. We are going to read the whole thing but I don't want you to write on your paper just yet. (After reading the article ask the following questions) How could I summarize the first paragraph? I am going to reread the first paragraph and I want you to follow along and read silently. I want you to look at the article on the projector and watch how I cross out information that is not helpful." Then, the teacher should have another student reread the article and the teacher should model how to summarize the first paragraph. 


Are aliens attacking the Sea of Japan? Not exactly. But these gigantic blobs are unwelcome visitors from another place. Called Nomura's jellyfish, the wiggly, pinkish giants can weigh up to 450 pounds (204 kilograms)--as heavy as a male lion--and they're swarming by the millions.



8. Say: "Now that we have read and reread the article we are going to go through it again and highlight the important information. We are also going to cross out information that is not useful. Now that we have done this lets come up with a summary of the first two paragraphs together. What do we need to do first? That's right! We need to come up with a topic sentence! Can someone tell me a good topic sentence? Large jellyfish called Nomura Jellyfish are invading the Sea of Japan. Now we need to add the other highlighted information into our summary. Can anyone give me a sentence or two? The Nomura Jellyfish are very unwelcomed in Japan. They are very unwelcomed and covering the Sea of Japan.  


9. Practice: Say: "Now I want you to read the rest of the article and summarize like we just practiced. I am going to walk around and help when you need it."



1. Say: "No it is your turn to practice the summarization strategy we learned today. You are going to use the rules we just went over to summarize the "Honey Bee Mystery" I am about to pass around to you. Lets all remember the steps that will make you successful in comprehending. First you need to find a topic sentence. What should you do next? That's right, you should highlight the important facts in the article. Then you should cross out information that is not helpful when trying to comprehend the passage. Lastly, you should delete the information that is repeated through out the article. I am going to pass around paper and I want you to write your final 4-5 sentence summary." The teacher should assess each summary by using the assessment checklist. Make sure you include all of the important information from the article.


2. The teacher should call students who have completed their summarizations to her desk. The students should read their summaries to the teacher while she goes over the summarization checklist. Then the teacher should explain the checklist and discuss with the student how they did.


3. Next the teacher should do a review of the material they learned. Questions the teacher should ask: What is the most important part of reading? What does it mean to summarize? Can someone tell me the summarization rules? Why is it so important to be able to summarize?


Assessment checklist:   

Students name:________________________________________

Date: ________________________________________

-Did the student pick out the most important information?               YES     NO

-Did the student delete unnecessary information?                                YES     NO

-Did the student fully understand the information from the

article?                                                                                                          YES     NO

-Did the student write a strong topic sentence?                                       YES     NO

-Did the student write strong sentences summarizing the

    important part of the text?                                                                           YES     NO




National Geographic "Giant Jellyfish Invasion"


National Geographic "Honey Bee Mystery


Waldrum, Julia. Sweet Summarizers. Reading to Learn.


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