Question Detail

What is the best note taking strategy for a 7th grade Civics class? I would like something that will help keep them engaged. Thank you for your assistance!

Jan 14, 2014 6:38am

I am currently a student teacher and are getting ready to start teaching one class a day.

  • Social Studies
  • 7
  • Behavior / Class Culture / Engagement / Planning


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    • Feb 18, 2014 9:49pm


      I like students to label notes. For example, there are icons by Sandra Kaplan that represent different ideas. Students can note patterns, controversial issues, issues with multiple perspectives, change over time, etc. with cool icons. My students love this! (We apply this in literature, but it would be applicable here.) This is often best with advanced learners because they represent depth and complexity added within a curriculum.

      Hope it's going well!

      • Jan 14, 2014 1:08pm

        You could try 2-Column notes.

        • Jan 18, 2014 1:53pm

          Try taking a look at various structures depending on content.
          Graphic organizers can be an excellent approach. Students can use Venn Diagrams or various other visual guides to note taking are helpful and can be enticing. The key is to match the organizer to your content goal-- comparing, information listed by topic...etc..

          As Eric noted below, modeling the note process with them is key--with a plan to remove more and more of the scaffolding as you go. (Google has many free graphic organizers you can develop.

          I'd also recommend shifting from the lesson to team work in questions frequently. Have students work in pairs or threes to apply or develop a concept or come up with more examples. Do let them know you'll be calling on one member of each group at random. This strategy keeps students engaged and allows for accountability.

          Welcome to teaching, by the way-- I am 30 years in and can't image a career I would have loved more.

          • Jan 21, 2014 7:07am

            I agree with Eric, modeling is most important along with teaching note taking early in the school year. I like the teaching of note taking vs the copying of notes written on the board!