Another Comprehension strategy I teach is to summarize text; include sequence of main events. By the time I introduce summarizing to my second grade classroom, they have usually become pretty good at retelling the story. Students need to learn that sometimes the story needs to be cut down to just the bare essentials. Learning to look at only the important information and leaving out the insignificant details can be a challenge. Students learn to tell just the key ideas that must be remembered to understand the story.
Explaining the Strategy:
“What is the selection about?”
“What are the main ideas of this selection?”
“What is not important to remember in this selection? Why?”
Ideas for Teaching:
- Start teaching this strategy with a chapter book. Have an “artist of the day” draw what was important information from the chapter just read. As an entire class, write the main ideas under the picture, being sure to leave out the unimportant details. When the chapter book is finished, compile the picture summaries to create a class book.
- Model how to find the important parts by using a purse. Set out items from you purse, explaining that because you are walking after school, you can only take the most important things with you. Together, determine what is important from you purse.
- Use spaghetti, water, and a strainer to show how to leave out unimportant details. Show how a strainer can separate the important from the unimportant. This is what your brain must to when reading.
This website gives an explanation and teaching ideas for summarizing.
This website gives ideas on how to find the important pieces of a text.
Here is a song that goes along with summarizing.
Supporting Picture Books:
Brett, J. (1989). The mitten. New York, NY: Penguin Young Readers Group.
Freeman, D. (1966). A rainbow of my own. New York, NY: Penguin Books, Inc.
Garland, S. (1993). The lotus seed. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace & Co.
Boushey, G., & Moser, J. (2009). The cafe book. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2008). The primary comprehension toolkit. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. (Strategy Book 1)
McGregor, T. (2007). Comprehension connections. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Miller, D. (2002). Reading with meaning. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.