Lesson: Lesson 3: Taking Notes

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Taking notes is an important skill for students.  They need to learn to take notes from their reading, from their lectures, and from interviews. This lesson concentrates on taking notes from interviews.   Students will be learning how to interview people and take accurate notes from those interviews. 


The objectives are to teach students

  • how to listen well,
  • how to take notes either in long hand or on computer
  • how to organize those notes.


Students need paper, pen or pencil or a computer.

A website called Inspiration is offering free beta services to schools. This software helps students organize their notes

Another good website is PiratePad at www.piratepad.net. Students can collaborate easily online.


See Note Taking handout in the Appendix


  1. Have students practice taking 10 minutes of notes from the teacher.
  2. Have students practice for five minutes taking notes from each other and have them check each others notes
  3. Have students interview each other and take notes of the interview



Note taking can continue for homework. Students can interview either on the computer or by phone and continue taking notes.  Students should exchange email addresses and phone numbers. 

Assessment Questions:

  • Are the notes accurate?
  • Are the notes complete?
  • Are the notes legible?
  • Is there some kind of organization to the notes?

Connections to Standards:

National Core Standards:

Comprehension and Collaboration

  • 1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Teacher Notes:

Number one problem with most students who take poor notes is poor listening skills.  It is simply a matter of practice. It is good to give students multiple opportunities to take notes and to have someone verify their accuracy.  One of the best parts of this lesson is that the student who is interviewed can check for accuracy of the notes instead of the teacher.   

Time needed to teach:

2-3 Sessions


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