Summarizing is Super!

Reading to Learn

by: Jessica C.R.

 

 

Rationale: Once students have learned to read with accuracy and fluently, it is time for them to move on to a more complex part of reading: reading to learn. When students read to learn, they are able to focus more on reading comprehension. An important tool students can use when focusing on comprehension is the ability to ask themselves good questions as they read. The lesson will teach students how to cross out unimportant information that will help them with summarization.

Materials:

-Summarizing Rules for students to reference

-Student copies of elephant facts (2 pages each)

-Highlighters (one per student)

-lined paper for each student

-assessment checklist (one per student)

Procedure:

- As good readers, it is important to acquire the ability to comprehend as we read. Remind students what it means to comprehend and why comprehension is a key part of being a great reader. When we comprehend what we are reading, it means that we can remember what the passage was about and use our comprehension knowledge to draw conclusions about what message the author is trying to convey. One thing that will make it easier for us to comprehend is summarizing. Today we will learn how to summarize.

-When you summarize, you take the main ideas of a passage and condense it. There are three rules when it comes to summarizing: Pick out the most important information, get rid of unnecessary information and write one or two sentences that include only important information drawn from the passage. We will practice our skills as we read about the African elephant.

- The first thing we do to summarize is read through the whole passage first. Next, we re-read the passage and cross out information that is not important. Then, we can look back at what we did not cross out and write a summary.

-I will model this so you can see how to do it. Pass out individual copies of page 1 of facts about African elephants. Read along with me as I read this aloud.

“African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. Elephant ears radiate heat to help keep these large animals cool, but sometimes the African heat is too much. Elephants are fond of water and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it all over themselves. Afterwards, they often spray their skin with a protective coating of dust.”

Now that I have read through it once, I will go back and cross out unimportant information and highlight any important information.  

“African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. Elephant ears radiate heat to help keep these large animals cool, but sometimes the African heat is too much. Elephants are fond of water and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it all over themselves. Afterwards, they often spray their skin with a protective coating of dust.”

(Explain what you are crossing out and why the information is superfluous)

To come up with our summary, we need to look at the information we have left.

Summary: African elephants , large, ears radiate heart, shower with water in trunks, spray dust.

-Now let's summarize the 2nd paragraph together. As you're reading, ask yourselves the following questions: what or who is it about? What's the point? Everyone read with me.

An elephant's trunk is actually a long nose used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things—especially a potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different muscles. African elephants have two fingerlike features on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items.

Go over big ideas and main points taking suggestions from students. Possible answers:

-big idea: trunk is used for many different tasks

-how: functions like a nose and grabs small items

 

-Pass out the second page of elephant facts. Now I want you to summarize on your own. This passage is about the elephant tusks. Elephants use them for several reasons but there is also a dangerous part to their tusks! You will have to read to figure out what it is! After you read through the story, re-read it again and mark out the unimportant information and highlight the important information. Then go back and write a short summary.

Assessment: For assessment, I will ask reading comprehension questions and discuss them as a class.

-Q: What is dangerous about the tusk of an elephant?

-Q: What do elephants use their trunks for?

-Q: How does an elephant cool itself off and protect its skin?

Also, take up student’s summarizations and complete table for evaluation:

YES or NO

                  Did the student

 

Highlight important information

 

Mark out the repeated and unneeded information

 

Summarized to form a few sentences that had a main idea

 

References:

-National Geographic Kids, African Elephants. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/african-elephant/?source=A-to-Z

-Walker, Lauren. Successfully Summarizing. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/walkerrl.htm

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