Sum it up With Summarizing!

Reading to Learn Lesson

Katie Pendergrass

Rationale:  Once students become fluent, the next step is for them to work on comprehension.  Comprehension is the final goal we want the student to accomplish in reading.  There are many different steps that students can take to learn how to easily comprehend something that they read.  Summarizing is a tool that can be used to help comprehend a story.  It allows the students to pick out the main points in a piece of work and delete unimportant information.  The students in this lesson will pick out main ideas by rewriting new sentences that summarize different articles.   

Materials: Pencils, paper, Assessment sheet (one for each student), smartboard, sentence "I went to the grocery store to pick up cherries, blueberries, and oranges.  My mom did not want me to get any popsicles.  I paid $12.43 for all of the fruit together." "Scientists Help Giant Pandas Raise Twins" article (one per student), picture of a panda bear, "Slow Down Calvin the Right Whale! Article (one for each student)


1.      "There are many different strategies that people use to help them understand a story.  Today we are going to learn how to summarize because summarizing is one of the strategies we can use to help us understand a story.  What is summarization? (Allow wait time for all students to think about what it might be.  Then have them share with a partner) Summarizing is when we pick out the main ideas in a piece of work.  Summarizing allows us to pick out the important details in everything that we read.  Today, we are going to practice summarizing different articles by rewriting sentences that summarize the articles.  We are going to use circling the main ideas in a sentence as our strategy to see what we will include in the sentences we write that will summarize what we read.  Using this strategy will allow us to see what readers do when they summarize text and understand the main idea in a story."

2.     Display "I went to the grocery store to pick up cherries, blueberries, and oranges.  My mom did not want me to get any popsicles.  I paid $12.43 for all of the fruit together" on the smartboard.  Say: "When I am summarizing, I am going to try to find out the most important details in what I read.  I am going to use my circle strategy to circle everything that I think is important.  I will delete the unimportant things by crossing them out.  Let's look at this sentence.  Read the sentences aloud to the students.  Let's think of what we believe is important.  It is important to know that I went to the grocery store, so I'll circle that.  I don't think that it matters about the popsicles, because I didn't get them, so I won't circle that.  I think that it is important that I paid $12.43 for all of the fruit, so I'll circle that also.  (have everyone look at what I have circled).  Does everyone think that I have circled the most important details in these sentences? 

3.     "Do you think it is helpful for readers to summarize texts?  Why or why not?  Have you ever summarized a text to help you understand it better?"

4.     "When we circle these important details, we can also write shorter sentences that summarize the main idea that we just read.  For example, I will use the words that I circled to make complete sentences that tell about what I read.  Display 'I went to the grocery store and paid $12.43 for fruit.'  This shorter sentence allows me to see what the main idea in the sentences were without using the entire thing.  Writing this shorter sentence allows me to be able to see how I picked out the main ideas in the sentence."

5.     Did everyone see how I summarized the sentence?  Great!  Summarizing allows us to become better readers that understand what we are reading about!  Now you are going to look at an article titled "Scientists Help Giant Pandas Raise Twins" (have a copy for all students).

Explain Vocabulary: Panda--(have a picture of a panda bear displayed)

a.     White and black, bear like mammal

b.     Rare and restricted to forest areas of central China

6.      "You are going to read this article about panda bears.  Make sure that everyone pays close attention as they read.  Remember that it is important for us to circle the important details from the article as we read so that we can practice summarizing, which will help us comprehend the story better.  That's what great readers do so don't forget!  Once you get done reading the article and circling the ideas, I want you to write three sentences that summarize what you just read (allow the students 10 to 15 minutes to finish). 

7.     "Who can tell me something that they learned from the article?  (Let multiple students share-write down what they say on the board).  Who can put all of these wonderful ideas into sentences that explain the main idea of the article to me? (Call on different students to hear what they wrote down).  Great job!  Summarizing like this allows us to be able to go back and find key facts that we had read before! It helps us become better readers that understand what they are reading about!  This will make us want to read more and find more enjoyable books!

8.     "Now I am going to pass out the article "Slow Down for Calvin the Right Whale!  I want each of you to read it silently.  Once you had read it silently, I want you to go back and reread.  While you reread it, I want you to circle all of the main ideas that you find in it.  Once you have found all of the main ideas, I want you to write 4-5 sentences that tell me the main idea of the article.  This will let us practice our summarizing skills so that we can and will become better readers!"  Students will also respond to the following reading comprehension questions:  Why did they name him Calvin?  Why can the whales not get out of the way of ships in time?  What would have to change for the whales to be able to move in time? (use these sentence and article as the assessment that will be graded by the following rubric)



Student Name:

Did the student…



Read the article all the way through?

Pick out the most important information from the article based on methods used in class?

Comprehend the information from the article?



Write a short paragraph summarizing the most important parts of the article read?




Nirschl, Katie. Sum, Sum, Sum it Up!

"Scientists Help Giant Pandas Raise Twins"

Picture of a panda bear

 "Slow Down for Calvin the Right Whale!"

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