Wrapping It Up

Wrapping It Up

By: Kimber Calhoun

              Date: 11/11/2014   




For students to get the most from reading, they must be able to recognize and remember the important points and overall main themes from a reading. The best way for students to do this is to be able to summarize. In this lesson, students will read a passage and practice making summaries by determining what information is most important.



·      Class set of "SuperCroc" article from National Geographic for Kids magazine (March 2002 issue)

·      Paper

·      Pencils

·      Whiteboard or overhead projector


1.)   Say: “In order to become expert readers, we have to be able to comprehend the message our reading is trying teach us. It would be impossible to remember every word we read, but we can remember the main ideas. Today we’re going to practice deciding what the main idea of a passage is and what the important details to remember are.”

2.)    Then give a book talk on the passage the students are about to read, “Today we’re going to read a very interesting passage that teaches some new facts about crocodiles!” Solidify the children’s background knowledge, “What are crocodiles? Has anyone ever seen a real crocodile? Are crocodiles big or little? Where do you guys think crocodiles live? What do they eat? Those are all very good guesses, now let’s read the text to find out. Everyone please read silently.”

3.)   Draw a web on the white board and explain, “Webs are a good way to organize an overwhelming amount of information. We start with the main idea. Who can tell me what this article is about overall? Very good, so I will put crocodiles in the middle of the web. What was an important thing the article taught you about crocodiles? Ok, so I’ll make a bubble with a line attaching it to the main idea that says ‘eating habits’. Now try a few on your own.”

4.)   Now divide the students into groups. “As a group, I want you to compare and contrast your webs and as a group create a new web with what you all agree is the most important information. When you have created a ‘master web’, use your web to write a short paragraph explaining what the article you just read is all about. Your summary should be very brief and it should not include any unnecessary details. Make sure you’re only talking about the main ideas.”

5.)   Assessment: Have students either submit their final summary to you or present it to the class. Make sure there are no unnecessary details, but that the main idea is clearly recognized.








Murray, Bruce A. Making Sight Words: Teaching Word Recognition from Phoneme Awareness to Fluency: How to Help Children Read Words Effortlessly without Memorization. Ronkonkoma, NY: Linus Publications, 2012. Print.