Lesson plan

Hidden Treasure: Summarizing Informational Text

Ahoy there! Ready to sail with your students on a treasure map summary? What's that matey? Your students need practice with summaries? Then take a journey and summarize to find the hidden treasure.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to summarize a nonfiction or informational passage or article.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather students on carpet.
  • Tell students they will learn how to summarize a nonfiction/informational passage or article with the support of the Treasure Map Summary Organizer.
  • Ask students to define summary. Use your own words to express that a summary includes the major points of a story or passage.
  • Read the Treasure Map Summary poem to motivate students for the lesson.
(20 minutes)
  • Hang the poster sized Treasure Map Summary organizer for students to view (using a smart board or overhead is an option). Explain organizer.
  • Begin to read a short nonfiction/informational passage or article. Think aloud as you read. Point out key words and phrases that may help you write your summary.
  • After reading, begin to model your summary using the Treasure Map Summary Organizer and Treasure Map lined paper.
  • Follow the path and arrows as you summarize. Focus on the main idea, key words and phrases, and important supporting details as you summarize on lined paper.
  • Reread a few times, making sure your summary is accurate.
  • Once completed, reread one more time. Ask students if you included the main idea, paraphrased and borrowed key words and phrases to write the important supporting details, and followed the organizer to write your summary. Take any questions or comments.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell students you will read a second short article or passage and they will help you write the summary. Remind them to paraphrase as well as focus on the main idea, key words, and phrases to compose the important supporting details.
  • When done reading, follow the Treasure Map Summary Organizer a second time. Call on students to help you write the summary. Reread to make sure it's accurate.
(20 minutes)
  • Before working independently, ask students if they understand the Treasure Map Summary Organizer.
  • Reread the Treasure Map Summary poem a second time to motivate students to work independently.
  • Pass out a copy of the lined paper, Treasure Map Summary Organizer, a passage or article, and the poem. Tell students they are going to read the article/passage and then write their summaries. Remind them to use the organizer to help them.
  • Last, instruct your students to walk back to their desks/tables and begin.
  • Enrichment: Encourage your students to write a summary without the Treasure Map Summary Organizer.
  • Support: Depending on the reading level of the students, have a few passages/articles available, so each student experiences reading success. Have an additional organizer for the writer to list the main idea, key words and phrases, and supporting details.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are working independently, walk around and check in with each student. Observe if students are reading and summarizing accurately or having difficulty with the process.
  • Record observations.
  • If additional time is needed for assessment, make observations and notes during closing.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide class into groups of 4. Have the groups share their summaries.
  • Select 3 students to read their summaries to the class. Have the audience share questions and comments.
  • To end the lesson, ask students what they have to include in a nonfiction/informational summary.
  • Then, read the Treasure Map Summary poem one more time.

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