Reading to Learn

Wild for Summarization 

Reading to Learn

By: Laura Moore


Rationale: When readers become fluent they can focus more on comprehending the text rather than decoding every word, after all this is the main goal of reading. Readers can improve their comprehension by learning strategies that will aide in learning from the text. It is important for the teacher to explicitly teach these strategies so that the children can practice these until they become skills the children can use independently of the teacher. Summarization is one strategy that can be used to help a reader comprehend the story. It allows the students to pick out the main points in a text and delete unimportant information. This lesson will engage children in practicing summarizing by recognizing the main ideas and writing new sentences that summarize different articles.



-Individual copies of the article: Bat Myth Busted

-Individual copies of the passage: Mountain Lion

- Chart paper with first 2 paragraphs of Bat Myth Busted! Article.

-Pencils, paper, highlighter, pens (1 for each student)

-Dry erase board, marker, and highlighter (for teacher)

-Summarization Checklist for teacher (see below)




Did the Student…



Get rid of unimportant and repeated information?



Organize items and events together?



Select a topic?



Write a topic statement that covers everything that is important from the passage of the text?







1.”Now that you are able to read texts fluently, you are moving from learning to read to reading to learn. This means that the texts you are reading give you important information that helps you to learn about new and exciting things. One strategy that helps us comprehend what we are reading is summarization. Raise your hand if you can tell me what it means to summarize? (allow think-time, share with their partner, and share their ideas with the class) When we summarize we pick out the main ideas or the important details to build a memorable sentence/paragraph that tells what the text is mainly about.

2. “Now, we will discuss the rules of summarization. Let’s look at these rules” (Write rules on the white board and read each rule aloud as I write it). Rule number 1: Get rid of unimportant and repeated information. This rule is basically telling us to take out anything that is not important to the passage we are reading and anything that is mentioned more than once. Rule number 2: Organize items and events together. This rule simply means to get all of our information together and organize it. Rule number 3: Select a topic. This means that we should create a topic that is only one or two words that tells exactly what we will be talking about. Rule number 4: Write a topic sentence that covers everything you find important about what you read. This can be very brief, but it needs to cover what you find to be very important out of everything you read! Now, we are going to read the first two paragraphs of the article you have on your desks.” (I will read while the students follow along) “Once we have finished reading, I will show you how to effectively summarize the statement we just read”.


3. Now, show the students the chart paper with the first two paragraphs written on it. “As you can see, I have written out on chart paper what we just read. We will use this to mark out unneeded information to help us with the summarization process. I will model for you exactly how to summarize, and then you will do it on your own! So, what is the first step in the summarization process we have on the board? Correct, get rid of unimportant or repeated information. Okay, so what do I see on the chart paper from what we read that seems unimportant? The first sentence in this passage does not seem to be important, so I will mark that out. I think that we can also mark out the last sentence in the passage. These do not need to be in our summary. The second to last sentence in the passage does not need to be included either, so I will mark that out. The second sentence in paragraph one is important to show how many pandas actually survived. The second sentence in paragraph two is important to show the reader about how much a baby panda weighs at birth. Now we are ready to move on to step 2, which is organizing the events and together. We are going to come up with an idea of what the article is about. I will use my highlighter to mark the most important phrases. Now I will highlight the only sentence we have left in the first paragraph. For the second paragraph, I will highlight every sentence except the last sentence, which we marked out. Now it is time to decide on a main topic for our summary. After reading these sentences, I believe that ‘Bats’ is a great topic. I will write that on the board as we start writing our summary. Now it is time for the final step, a topic sentence. Remember that this is one sentence that recaps the whole passage we read. Let’s read over what we have left that we have highlighted.” (Read highlighted sentences aloud with class). “I believe that a good topic sentence would be, ‘Bats are not really blind, there eyes are small but they see fine.’ (Write this sentence on white board under the topic).

 Mammal- warm blooded animal 

Say: "A mountain lion is a mammal. You would not say that a bee is a mammal." "A bee is an insect." 

4. “Next you are going to practice summarizing using a different reading!” (Pass out copies of passage, Mountain Lion, to every student). (Give ‘book talk’) “This is a passage all about mountain lions. Where they live? What do they like to do? You’ll have to read the passage to find out! Remember after you read to go back and cross out any information that is not important. Then you will highlight the sentences that are important to the main idea. Next, you will find a topic and write a topic sentence. Any questions? Good, get busy! Please turn in your article and your summary in to me when you have finished.”

- How big is the average Mountain Lion?

- Are mountain lions mammals?


Assessment: Teacher will evaluate student’s marking on the passage they are given, as well as the summary they have written. Teacher will use the summarization checklist included above.


National Geographic Kids - Bat Myths Busted!


National Geographic Kids- Mountain Lion


Froggy For Reading – Amanda Talley


It’s a Starry Summarization- Abby Sykes

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