Research Skills - Note Taking

Teach Starter Publishing
60 mins | Suitable for years: 3 - 4

A 60 minute lesson in which students will take appropriate notes from an informative text.

Tuning In

  • Write the following sentence on the board, twice (one underneath the other): Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles that can make venom. 
  • Using the first sentence, rub out the words snakes, cold-blooded, reptiles and venom. Look at the words that remain (are, that, can and make). Ask the students:
    • Do these words provide any information about what the sentence is about?
    • Is it possible to guess what the sentence is about, using only these words?
  • Explain to the students that these words are known as 'connector words'. They provide no information about the content of a sentence.
  • Using the second sentence, rub out the words are, that, can and make. Look at the words that remain (snakes, cold-blooded, reptiles and venom). Ask the students:
    • Do these words provide any information about what the sentence is about?
    • Is it possible to guess what the sentence is about, using only these words?
  • Explain to the students that these words are known as 'informational words'. They provide the key information about the content of a sentence.
  • Remind the students that, when they are taking notes from informative texts, they should only write down the informational words, not the connector words.

Teacher Instruction

  • Project the text about sharks from the Research Skills Worksheets - Note Taking on the board. Discuss the instructions and hints in the box at the top of the page.
  • Read the text together as a class. Discuss and model reading comprehension strategies, such as:
    • looking at the title, subheadings, illustrations and repeated words for hints about the main idea
    • locating and defining the subject-specific words (words that are related to the main idea).
  • Project the next page of the worksheet pack on the board. Discuss the instructions and hints in the box at the top of the page.
  • Read through each paragraph together as a class. Discuss and model note taking strategies, such as:
    • highlighting the informational words only, not the connector words
    • noting the key facts and details as single words or short phrases.

Guided/Independent Learning

Wrapping Up

  • Discuss the main idea and subject-specific vocabulary of the two remaining texts (astronauts and smartphones). Encourage confident students to share their dot point notes with the rest of the class.

Differentiation

Extending Students

  • Challenge any fast finishers to use their dot point notes to create a fact file poster for one of the topics in the worksheet pack.

Supporting Students

  • Allow any students who find reading comprehension challenging to work on the note taking task in a small group with a teacher or teacher aide.

Suggested Assessment Strategies

  • used strategic whole class or individual questioning
  • observed student participation during learning activities
  • recorded student progress on a checklist
  • annotated student work samples
  • collected and reviewed student work samples
  • facilitated whole class or peer feedback sessions
  • encouraged student self-reflection
  • administered formal assessment tasks.

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Curriculum

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