Make a Newspaper with Informational Text Summaries

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SWBAT use text features and the structure of text to summarize key details, analyzing what the author's purpose was for the text.

Big Idea

Summarize the chapters and put it together to make in informational newspaper!


  • Lesson vocabulary words from the Reading/Writing word wall: summarize, key details, illustration, text features, caption, table of contents, glossary, diagram, headings, map, index
  • Informational text features
  • Set up the whiteboard
  • Second grade informational text of your science or social topic that’s full of text features and has short paragraphs or chapters to analyze  I used Looking at Solids, Liquids, and Gases by Jackie Gaff
  • summarizing worksheet
  • newspaper template
  • Topical vocabulary (optional): I used matter, states (of matter), molecules, evaporation, condensation


I chose this book because its FULL of info text features, limited text, short chapters and lots of supporting details.  The information is pertinent to our science unit. I want the kids to see that these features hold so much information. Many times, students don’t take the time to look at the text features and use them to deepen comprehension. The focus on using text with multiple paragraphs to determine a central idea and summarize (RI.2.2) and then use supporting details to verify that main idea is crucial to help students digest and organize information in a text.

Let's Get Excited!

10 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall.  I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)


Spark interest in the topic and activate background knowledge

  • "We've been learning about solids, liquids and gases.  I have a cool video to show you that has lots of great ideas about this topic."
  • Show the Scholastic video to spark interest and introduce the topic and vocabulary. This one is about the states of matter. If you’re doing another topic, just look for a short video to get the students interested and connected.


Review/introduce the target vocabulary and bring students to a common starting point

  • Review the vocabulary and write it on the board 
  • Ask students for ideas- what did they learn?  What did they see?


Introduce the lesson

  • Highlight the vocabulary on the board
  • Discuss informational text and text features
  • To see how I introduce the lesson, see the teacher introduction of the lesson in resources.

Teachers' Turn

15 minutes

I have taught this summarizing strategy in 2 other lessons. I encourage you to take a look at Frame the Story with Informational Text and A Feast of Summaries to see other ways that students can practice this kind of summarizing. They typically need multiple opportunities to practice and become proficient at summarizing.



  • Preview the book and examine the organization of the book (chapters, sections, paragraphs) – use the informational text feature headings to discuss the text features Here's a video of how I introduce text features.
  • Explain how we summarize – read the chapter, look for repeating words, 1st/last sentence to write the main idea and key details   Take a look at the introduction.
  • We use the text features to verify the summary. 


Demonstrate with first 3 chapters on the board

  • Use the organizer on the board - "Let's look for repeated words"  Write those on the top box. This was a really concrete way for the kids to summarize.
  • Talk throughout using 'first or last sentence'.  "Are the repeated words in the summary? Does it seems like a good summary? If yes, then use it.  If not, we can write our own."  The kids were really perceptive about this and it was easy to do. Check out my completed whiteboard.
  • See the video 'teacher demonstration' of this discussion.
  • "Now check the illustration. Add to the summary if the illustration has more ideas."


Show how to make the project


Show how to make a title for the project

  • Write a title for the summaries. "The author wrote these chapters to fit into the whole text.  Each chapter has a main idea that relates to the big idea of the text."
  •  Add simple illustrations to verify the summaries


The Common Core State Standards ask students to look at the organization of the text and evaluate how each part of a book (paragraph, chapter, sections) relate to the text as a whole. (RI.2.6) Students who can do this kind of evaluative thinking will realize that the author's organization of the book aids in comprehension as a whole.

Students Take A Turn

20 minutes

Student direction

  • Students are assigned 3 chapters to read and summarize. They should work use the worksheet in groups to find repeated words, use first/last sentence and verify with the illustration as needed.
  • As they finish, they should transfer the summaries to the 3 boxes on the newspaper.
  • Here is a photo of a student completing the project, as well as a completed worksheet.


Teacher verifying comprehension

  • Walk around and ask questions...
  • How did you come up with that summary? 
  • Do you have key details that support your main idea? 
  • What illustration verifies that summary?

Apply What You've Learned!

20 minutes



Collate and title

  •  Add a title to show the main idea of the entire text that they read.


Share what you've learned

  • Students should come up and share their newspapers - ask for different chapters to be summarized. 
  • It's FABULOUS that they're learning science during reading class!!


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

If students work in groups, a better reader could read the chapter. Otherwise, you could sit with the challenged readers and read with them. They may need help with the words and summary. I used a slate at their desk to prompt them with ideas.

For students with more ability, challenge them to use some inference and go beyond the text a bit. Challenge to use the words that were target vocabulary for the lesson. Ask them for more details in their summary.