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Reading to Learn Design

Reading to Learn 
Ready, Set, Read! 
By: Bethany Dyess

Rationale:  The ultimate goal of reading is the reader’s comprehension. In order to comprehend text it is necessary for students to learn effective strategies that they can use when they are reading independently.   In this lesson, students will practice silent reading and the strategy of summarizing using graphic organizers and a checklist.  We want the students to be able to tell between important and unimportant facts in a story. After the lesson, they will be able to effectively comprehend text by using the summarization strategy in their independent reading. The student will also learn have a vocabulary lesson that has to do with the topic in the book.


- Pencil

- Paper

- Dry Erase Markers/ Eraser

- Dictionary

         - White Board with sentences and definition of word written on it:

Definition, Amphibian: Animals that are born in the water with gills and when they grow up they are able to live on the land and breathe air.

“Frogs eat almost anything that moves and can fit into their mouths”

“Some frogs seek out their food”

“Frogs sometimes travel more than eight miles to a pond, lake, or puddle”

         - Graphic Organizer (Multiple Copies- 2 for each student)


Column 1

Column 2

        (Chart can be made bigger to allow more writing)

- Books:

Frogs by Nic Bishop

Frogs, Toads, and Turtles by: Diane Burns

-       Copy of summary checklist for each student that says:

Circle either yes or no for each question.

1.  Is unimportant or repeated information left out of your summary? Yes or No

2.  Are important events and ideas stated? Yes or No

3.  Do you have a topic sentence that states the author’s main idea? Yes or No


1.  Say: “When we read, the most important thing is to understand what we are reading. There is no point in reading a story if we are just reading the words without knowing what is going on. Comprehending helps us to understand what is happening in a story, or to learn important information from text. We are going to practice reading and then telling what we understood from the story. Summarizing is a strategy you can use on your own to help you comprehend or understand the text you are reading.”

2.  Say: “I am going to read the sentences from the book Frogs I have written on the board out loud and then I am going to read silently.  I want you to pay close attention to the differences in these sentences. “Frogs eat almost anything that moves and can fit into their mouths.” “Some frogs seek out their food.” “Frogs sometimes travel more than eight miles to a pond, lake, or puddle” read the sentences aloud then silently to model by paraphrasing to show I understood what I read).  Now “lets all read the sentence on the board and tell what we comprehend from this sentence…good”(Cover up the other sentences as you read each one).

3.  Say: “When we summarize the sentences we are reading there are three things that are important to keep in mind that will be helpful.  First, we should leave out unimportant and repeated information.  Second, we should always state the important events and ideas.  The third thing to remember is that we should write a topic sentence that states the author’s main idea.  The three things will help you to write a summary.  So now I want everyone to get out your article called. I want everyone to read this silently then we are going to complete this graphic organizer together and write a class summary.  As you read to yourself, think about what information is unimportant and repeated. You also have a sheet that has two different sections on it. If there are important information write it in the left column and if it is not important and repeated in the story I want you to write it in the right column. Now everyone read the sentences silently paying close attention then we will go over it together.” Give the students time to read the story to them silently.

4.  Say: “Now we are going to read the book Frogs by Nic Bishop. We are going to lean a new vocabulary word it is amphibian.” Ask the students if they know what the definition of the word is. Ask if anyone agrees with them or if anyone else has an idea. Then go over the definition from a dictionary. “It is a type of animal that usually has gills and lives in the water when it is young, and breathes air and lives on land when it becomes an adult.” Use it in a sentence, “Amphibians are animals such as frogs and turtles that live near the water.” See if the students can come up with their own sentence using the word amphibian. Before the students read the text ask them questions about what is going to happen in the story. Give a book-talk to get the students engaged. There are animals that can live underwater when they are born and do not need air then once they grow up they can live on the land and breathe air, lets read to find out more about these animals. Then ask the students to get their books out and read them silently. I want you to use the handout I gave you with three columns that will help classify the three reminders about summarizing.  As you read I want you to think about what you are reading. (Chart is at top in materials) Then put repeated and unimportant information in column 1, important events and ideas in column 2, and when you finish try to come up with the author’s main idea and write it at the top where it says main idea. After you have done this I want you to get with a partner and go over your ideas. (Give the students a few minutes, and then go over answers with whole class getting answers from everyone in the class).

6.  Say: “Now everyone get out a piece of notebook paper.  On your own I want you to think about a few sentences that you can write that describe and summarize the book. You can use the sheet with the columns on it to help if needed. Start with a topic sentence that states the author’s main idea.  When both you and your partner are done writing your summaries you can read them to each other and give each other suggestions on what you like and what they may need to work on or change.” Give the students a few minutes to go over each other’s ideas then you can discuss the main idea of the book with the whole class. We want them to get the most important idea in the book not just one of the parts that they think is important we need to help guide them in the correct way. (Ask the students questions from the story to see if they remember what they read about in the story). What happened to the frog in the story? How did you know this? What was different about the frog and the turtle that we read about? Where was that in the book? (Add more comprehension questions depending on their reading level).

7.  Say: “Tonight I want everyone to read the book Frogs, Toads, and Turtles at home silently.  In Frogs, Toads, and Turtles you will learn about the difference between frogs and toads. We learned today that a frog is an amphibian, but what is the difference between toads, frogs, and turtles. Then I want you to write a paragraph to summarize your book just like we did in class today. You can also use a graphic organizer that I will send home with you like we did in class today before you write your paragraph. Bring it with you to class tomorrow and you can get with a partner and discuss your ideas before we go over them as a class.”





Bishop, Nic. Frogs. Scholastics Nonfiction. 2008. Print


Reading Genie, Dr. Murray Perspectives http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/perspectives.html


Burns, Diane. Frogs, Toads, and Turtles. Northword Press. 1997. Print.


Reading to Learn Lesson Design Laci Rickard http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/rickardrl.html