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Jumping through Summarization with Jackrabbits 

By: Olivia McKnight









Rationale: After children can read accurately and fluently they will soon be able to read in order to learn. The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension, and students at this level are ready to take on this task. This lesson introduces students to a helpful strategy known as summarization and to help them read to learn. Students will learn to delete trivial information in an article about elephants, which will only leave them the important facts in the end. 



• Pencils (one for each student)

• Paper (one for each student)

• Highlighters (one for each student)

• Passage sample on Smart Board of “Jackrabbits"

• Dry erase markers

• Rubric for grading summaries

• Comprehension Questions

• Class set of the article "Giraffes" by National Geographic



• Say: “Today, we are going to be learning how to summarize an article! This is when you condense the information down to only what is most important by deleting the trivial and repeated information. We are going to practice how to do this skill with two different articles. We will focus on what the main idea is, what facts support the main idea, and what information we can remove.”

• Say: “Now we are going to read a message together on the SmartBoard. This passage is on Jackrabbits . Do Jackrabbits live in cold icelands or deserts? That’s right they live in Deserts. Do they eat meat or plants? Correct! They are herbivores which means they eat plants. Let’s read more about our friends the Jackrabbits . Follow along with me as I read this passage out loud.” Show first paragraph of Jackrabbits article on SmartBoard.

• Say: “Who can sum up what you just read? “Wait for students to give their summaries and write down what they say. “Let’s take a look at my copy of this paragraph on the SmartBoard. Notice how I highlighted important details and crossed out details that were not important.  That helps me keep facts straight and the main idea in mind.” Model the sample below on board.


Black-tailed jackrabbits are not actually rabbits, but are hares. Hares are born with fur and are larger than rabbits. They usually have taller hind legs and longer ears. These speedy animals are capable of reaching 40 miles (64 kilometers) an hour . They have powerful hind legs that can propel them on leaps of more than 10 feet (3 meters) . They use these leaps and a zigzag running style to evade their many predators, including coyotes. 


• Say: “To review, the main topic tells us what the paragraph will be about.  Our first sentence talked about what the jackrabbits are actually called, which is great information but the rest of the paragraph talks about their features like their size,so we cross it out. The remainder of the paragraph tells us about the Jackrabbit’s size of their legs that give them the ability to propel. This is great information,so we will highlight it . Then it tells us how the Jackrabbit runs to get away from it’s predator. That’s great information, but we just don’t need it! We are summarizing the article about Jackrabbit legs.

• Now the students will practice what they have just learned on their own. Pass out a copy of the Giraffe article to each student to mark and highlight on.Say: “I am passing out a text about a long necked animal we all know as the Giraffe, for you to read and highlight the important things. Have you ever been to a safari? What about a zoo that had Giraffe’s? This is a really interesting text that will make you think of this animal in a whole different way. If I were you, I would read the story once through and then go back to highlight what I remember was really important.  Once you have narrowed the text down, you can double check your work and write a short summary.”

• “Say: Before you read, let’s quickly remind ourselves of what one of the words in the passage means.” Write the word and definition on the board.
     Predator-an animal that naturally preys on others.

              i.How tall do you think a giraffe is when it is born ?  It is 6 feet tall.

             ii.What is so good about their height? It gives them a wide range view of the grasslands to make it easier to spot predators. 

            iii.A predator of a Giraffe could be a…

Once they are written on the board, ask the questions for the vocabulary word. The questions are listed under the vocabulary word and a finish the sentence example is included as well.


Assessment: I will call each student back one at a time once they have had time to read and highlight. I will see what they highlighted, along with a summary that they wrote. I will rate this on the rubric (see below), and ask them a couple of comprehension questions. Once the students have met with me, they will get in small groups to discuss the article and their summaries aloud.



• What is a baby giraffe called?

• How do young giraffes most likely die during their first year of life?

• What is something you find interesting about a giraffe?



Student Name:

Student clearly read article all the way through and used information from different paragraphs.

____ / 3

Picked out information using methods taught in class.

_____ / 2

Deleted unimportant details.

_____ / 1

Wrote a short paragraph summarizing most important details from the article.

____ / 4

Total Points and comments:


______ / 10




Giraffe Article from National Geographic KiDS: 


Curtis, Fannon. Zipping through summarization with zebras. 


Jackrabbit  Article from National Geographic KiDS:

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