Super Summarizations with Science!

Melissa Harris

Reading to Learn: Summarizations

Rationale: Reading is the initial step for students to learn new information. While reading, it is crucial for them to differentiate between significant and insignificant information. In this lesson I will teach students how to summarize. Summarizing is a skill that all beginning readers need to practice in order to be successful in reading comprehension. I will explicitly teach the strategy of summarizing by first explaining and modeling, then guided practice, and finally individual summarization of a text with comprehension questions.

 

Materials

"What’s Wild About African Wild Dogs" Published by National Geographic Kids

Smartboard copy of article

Handouts of article (1 per child)

Assessment checklist (1 for each student)

                        Summary Checklist

 

Did I…

_____ write my topic sentence?

_____ find and underline supporting details to help answer the question?

_____ remove unimportant information by crossing it out?

_____ remove repeated ideas?

_____ create a 3-5 sentence summary?

 

 

Procedures

1. "In today's lesson, we are going to be working on summarization. Can anyone tell me what summarization is? Yes! Summarizing is selecting the most important parts of a text. By doing this, you can find the most useful information without getting confused by things you do not need to know. It is super useful when reading a long book or article that is explaining something."

2. "Before we begin reading, I want to talk about some words that we will encounter in the text that we might not know. These words are: domestic and species.

The first word is "domestic".

Domestic animals are animals that can be pets.  Like your pet dog or cat.  They are domestic and are safe to have as pets because you can train them and they are used to being around people and being taken care of by people.  Is a lion an animal that is domestic and safe to live with? (Answer: no, they are wild animals.) Please finish this sentence: Today, I was at the pet store where they sell domestic animals, such as… (Possible answers include "fish," "cats," or "hamsters.")

The second word is "specie”

A species is a certain type of animals or plant like a dog or a mouse. Two animals of a specie can come together and make a family.  For example: You may have a rabbit and a turtle, but they are not the same species because they are different animals and cannot make baby rabbits or turtles. Do you think a squirrel and a chipmunk are the same specie or different species? Why? (Answer: different species, because they are different animals and cannot make babies.) Please finish this sentence: I saw two birds today that were different species, one was a ____ and the other was a ____. (Possible answers include: "eagle/duck," or "woodpecker/flamingo.")"

3. "When we want to summarize a passage, we read a little bit at a time. When we finish reading that small part we look back and figure out the most important parts. We cross out information that does not add value to the main idea. We must be very selective in choosing the important information."

4. "Now that we know what summarization is and why it is important, I am going to model how to do it. To do this, I will use an article titled, " What’s Wild About African Wild Dogs " We all know that our pet dogs are domestic, but what makes these African Wild Dogs so different?" [Ask a few students to come up with some reasons.] "Okay, now we are going to read the article to find out the answer. Watch how I can summarize the first two paragraphs in the article. " [Open " What’s Wild About African Wild Dogs " on the SmartBoard OR have handouts for each student.] "Remember I only want the important parts of the paragraph. First I am going to read the entire first paragraph…

 

What’s the difference between African wild dogs and the dogs we know as pets?

For one thing, African wild dogs, which live in Africa, south of the Sahara desert, only have four toes, while domestic dogs and wolves have five. But you wouldn’t want to count for yourself, because these are truly wild animals.

"Wild dogs are not somebody's domestic dogs that ran away and didn't come back, although some people used to think that," explains Dr. "Tico" McNutt, who studies these animals at Wild Dog Research Camp in the African country of Botswana. "They are actually Africa's wolf, and just like wolves, they do not make good pets. They need to be out in the wild doing what they are supposed to be doing—ranging many miles every day and hunting to find the food they need to survive and feed pups."

 

"These paragraphs give us some great information. What I am going to do is underline the important parts. We want to figure out what this article is about. Let's see. The paragraph says that wild dogs aren’t domestic dogs, like our pets, that ran away and didn’t come back. I'm going to underline "are not somebody’s domestic dogs that ran away" because that seems like an important point. I am also going to underline that “they are Africa’s wolf” because that in an important comparison for me to know.  I know that wolves are wild animals that take care of themselves.  Then I am going to cross out the rest of the paragraph because it doesn't have any important information. It doesn't matter who said that quote.

 

 

 

 

 

At the end, it looks like this:

 

What’s the difference between African wild dogs and the dogs we know as pets?

For one thing, African wild dogs, which live in Africa, south of the Sahara desert, only have four toes, while domestic dogs and wolves have five. But you wouldn’t want to count for yourself, because these are truly wild animals.

"Wild dogs are not somebody's domestic dogs that ran away and didn't come back, although some people used to think that," explains Dr. "Tico" McNutt, who studies these animals at Wild Dog Research Camp in the African country of Botswana. "They are actually Africa's wolf, and just like wolves, they do not make good pets. They need to be out in the wild doing what they are supposed to be doing—ranging many miles every day and hunting to find the food they need to survive and feed pups."

 

 5. "Now that we have a pretty good idea of how to summarize, let's try to summarize the next few paragraphs together."

 

In fact, they travel so far that researchers use radio collars to keep track of them. The collars send out radio signals that tell people where the dogs are. African wild dogs are a separate species from domestic dogs: Lycaon pictus, which means painted, wolf-like animal. No two wild dogs have the same pattern to their coats, so it is easy to tell them apart.

Roaming through grasslands, savannas, and wooded areas, they hunt gazelles and other antelopes, baby wildebeests, warthogs, birds, and rats. Incredible hunters, they can run up to 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour).

 

"What is the most important part of this passage? Let's underline the most important parts. Do we think that we should the specific specie of the African Dogs and what it means?" [Allow for students to voice their ideas.] "No, I don't think so, either. It doesn’t really help us learn a difference that we didn’t already know. What should we underline from this part of the passage?" [Encourage students to discuss what they believe are important points.] "Yes, we would underline "they travel so far that researchers use radio collars to keep track of them." This is important because it tells us something that those dogs do that our own dogs wouldn’t, and it is a big difference.

 

End result:

 In fact, they travel so far that researchers use radio collars to keep track of themThe collars send out radio signals that tell people where the dogs are. African wild dogs are a separate species from domestic dogs: Lycaon pictus, which means painted, wolf-like animal. No two wild dogs have the same pattern to their coats, so it is easy to tell them apart.

Roaming through grasslands, savannas, and wooded areas, they hunt gazelles and other antelopes, baby wildebeests, warthogs, birds, and rats. Incredible hunters, they can run up to 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour).

 

6. "Now, you are going to continue working on summarizing. I want you to read the rest of this article and underline the important points. Once you have finished, please come to the front to get a Summary Checklist. This will help you write a summary of the article using the underlined information. Do not worry about it if it looks short. The point of a summary is that it is a short description of an article. Once you have finished, turn to your neighbor to share your summary. See if there are any differences between your summaries and discuss them."

 

7. I will call on individual students to come to my desk and answer a few comprehension questions about the text. I will ask: What are some differences between the African Wild Dogs and our domestic dogs? Is there anything about the dogs that shocked you? Do you think the dogs are more similar or different than each other?

  

For Students: 

 

Summary Checklist

 

Did I…

_____ write my topic sentence?

_____ find and underline supporting details to help answer the question?

_____ remove unimportant information by crossing it out?

_____ remove repeated ideas?

_____ create a 3-5 sentence summary?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the teacher:

 

When summarizing, did the student…

YES

NO

Select a topic?

 

 

Delete repeated information?

 

 

Delete unimportant information?

 

 

Underline important information?

 

 

Organize items with a big idea?

 

 

Write an inclusive, simple topic sentence to summarize the passage?

 

 

 

 Return to Partnerships Index


References:

Karl, Faith. Super Sweet Summarization.

http://www.auburn.edu/~fek0001/karlrl.htm

McDevitt, Shannon. Ready, Set, Summarize!

http://www.auburn.edu/~slm0022/mcdevittrl.htm

"What’s Wild About African Wild Dogs." National Geographic Kids. National Geographic, n.d.

Web. 2 Apr 2014.

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/animalsnature/african-wild-dogs/