Going Nuts for Summarization

Going Nuts for Summarization!

Reading to Learn Design

Margaret Anne Logan

Email: mal0031@auburn.edu

 


 

 

Rationale:

    The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension, and students at this level are ready to take on this challenging goal. This lesson introduces students to a helpful strategy known as summarization, which will help them read to learn and understand. Students will learn to delete trivial information and redundant information in an article about the Eastern Gray Squirrel.

 

Materials:

·      Class set of the article "Eastern Gray Squirrel " by Kids National Geographic

·      Poster with the rules of summarization written on it

·      Assessment chart for each student (for teacher use)

·      Colored marker for each student

·      Lined paper for each student

·      Projector

Procedures:

1.       Teacher says: Who has ever read an article or a book, and told a friend about what you read? Do you read them the whole book, or do you just tell them the important parts of what you read? (Call on student). Yes! You only tell them important parts of the story! This is called giving them a summary of the book or article. Summarization is a helpful strategy good readers use to help comprehend or understand what you are reading. If you can summarize a book or article, it is a good indication that you are able to understand what you’ve read.

2.        Before we begin to practice summarization some more, let's review what we have learned about squirrels so far this week. Yesterday we said that there are many different roles that the squirrels have.  What were some of the roles? (Call on student.) Yes! They gather nuts, seeds, flowers, and buds from tress. Earlier this week we talked about how squirrels spread seeds. Who can tell me how they spread seeds? (Call on student). Very good, they gather more food that they need and bury it.  Some of these seeds that they don’t use for food turn into trees!  How do you think they find their food? (Call on student) Yes! They use their noses to smell where they have buried their food.  Do you think it would be hard to be a squirrel?  I think so!

3.       You all are doing so great! Keep it up! Now, let's talk more about summarization. Everybody take out a marker and a sheet of paper. Turn your paper horizontal, like a hot dog, and divide it into three different columns. Okay, now let's look at our "Rules of Summarizing" poster. Who can read me what the first rule of summarizing is? (Call on student). Yes, the first rule of summarizing is to delete the trivia, or unimportant information. We don’t want to keep any repeated information. Everybody write this rule at the top of the first column on your piece of paper. It can be very helpful to cross out important information if you can mark on the article you are reading, but you are reading in a book you will probably have to make a mental note that certain parts may not be as important as others. This will help you to understand the message the author is trying to tell you. Let's look at the second rule. The second rule is to find the important information. Everybody write this rule at the top of the second column. When you find something that is important in the book or article you are reading, underline or highlight the sentence so that you can go back and remember that it must be important. The final rule of summarization is to make a topic sentence. Everybody write this rule at the top of the third column on your paper. Making a topic sentence can be very challenging because most texts don't have topic sentences incorporated. A topic sentence combines all of the important information in a short, condensed way so that you are able to summarize and comprehend the paragraph you read.

 4.     Teacher says: Now we are going to practice summarizing with an article called "Eastern Gray Squirrel". Do you normally notice a lot of squirrels this time of year? I sure do! According to this article, they are getting ready for winter, and we need to know why! Let's read more to find out! Let's look at the first paragraph of the article together:


“Eastern gray squirrels forage for nuts, seeds, buds, and flowers of trees. Like other tree squirrels, the eastern gray squirrel plays an important role in what’s known as seed dispersal. As winter approaches, squirrels carry their food and bury it in several locations. They hide more food than they will recover or eat. The buried seeds and nuts sprout and begin to grow in these locations the following spring."

 5.     Before we start to summarize this paragraph let’s go over some vocabulary.  What does dispersal mean?  That’s right!  It means to spread out.  What does locations mean?  Yes!  It means a certain place, so the squirrel is burying the seeds in different places.  Our last vocabulary word is sprout.  Sprout means for a plant to bud from a seed.  Ok lets get started.  Everybody watch me as I use my rules to summarize this paragraph. (Pull out a pre-made copy of the 3 columns on paper). Let's look at the first sentence: Eastern gray squirrels forage for nuts, seeds, buds, and flowers of trees.” Do we think it is important that squirrels are foraging for food? I would say yes, because it tells the specific job that a squirrel does in order to obtain food. I am going to write sentence number one under my second column of important information.  The second sentences says, “Like other tree squirrels, the eastern gray squirrel plays an important role in what’s known as seed dispersal” It uses the phrase “important role,” so I would say this is important information.  We put this sentence in the second column of important information.  However I do not think the next part is important.  I notice that the third and fourth sentence says, “As winter approaches, squirrels carry their food and bury it in several locations. They hide more food than they will recover or eat.”  It talks about things that squirrels are good for, but some of the information seems redundant or repeated. Okay, I see some repeated information here. The article already talked about how squirrels bury their seeds, so we can put the sentence “As winter approaches, squirrels carry their food and bury it in several locations” and “They hide more food than they will recover or eat” in our first column of information that can be crossed out because we already know that they hide their food. To summarize we cannot name all of the specifics all the time, or we would have too much information. I am going to mark an X over this information and write it in my first column because I don’t think it is important.   Now the last sentence says, The buried seeds and nuts sprout and begin to grow in these locations the following spring."  This is important because it shows how trees grow from squirrels spreading seeds, so I would put this in the important information column.

 6.      Now that we have finished the first paragraph let's try and see if we can come up with a topic sentence. Remember, a topic sentence is one sentence that explains what the whole paragraph is talking about. I am going to look at the parts I have in my column 2 for the important information I wrote down. Look at your second column to see what important information that we wrote down. I have that  Eastern gray squirrels forage for nuts, seeds, buds, and flowers of trees. Like other tree squirrels, the eastern gray squirrel plays an important role in what’s known as seed dispersal. The buried seeds and nuts sprout and begin to grow in these locations the following spring."  I would make this a topic sentence by saying: Eastern gray squirrels gather nuts, seeds, buds, and flowers from trees, which they bury in the earth and use as food and seed dispersion also occures.  Now I have all my important information in one sentence, and this is a summary of the paragraph I was reading. Does anybody have any questions?

 7.     Now, I am going to let you summarize each of the remaining paragraphs. Remember to use your paper with the columns to help you break up the information. You can also look at our summarizing poster as well if you need help! Come up with one topic sentence for each paragraph. When you are finished, I want you to staple the article to your paper with your columns, and turn it in to me.

 8.      Assessment: I will review each student's column chart to determine if they could successfully summarize the different paragraphs. I will use the assessment checklist to record each child's grade. Topic sentences may vary slightly, but I will be looking to see if they child included the important information in each.

Comprehension Questions:

1.What does the squirrel use as food and where do they get it?

2.What does the squirrel do with its food?

3.If they do not eat their food, what happens to the seeds buried into the earth?

Assessment Checklist:

Student Name: ___________________________

 1. Did the student fill out the chart on his/her paper?                                

2.Did the students come up with topic sentences for the remaining paragraphs?

3.Did the student successfully delete unimportant/redundant information?

4.Did the student successfully identify important parts?

5.Did the student use the important information to come up with topic sentence?

 

References:

1.     National Geographic, "Eastern Gray Squirrel”

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/eastern-gray-squirrel/

2. Summing Up the Buzz; Carly Woods

https://sites.google.com/site/misswoods14/summing-up-the-buzz

 

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