Cornell Notes for Second Graders? Yes!

What are these two sweethearts working so hard on?  You might not believe fact, I didn't believe how well it worked until I saw the finished result- it's Cornell Notes, done 2nd Grade style!

In one of my post-grad classes we researched strategies that are promoted by McCrel, Marzano, and Danielson, three of the 5 evaluation models approved by the state.  A few of the girls in my class are using Cornell Notes with their high school students, and knew a lot about it- I had never heard of it, but once they explained it, I was hooked! A note-taking strategy that keeps things neat, simple, and stream-lined? Sign me up! 

Here is a Prezi we were shown at the class I went to- I did not create it, nor do I claim any rights to Cornell Notes, I'm just sharing so you can see what I saw! Update: Here's a pin I found that shows you how to set it up.

I chose my smallest class to pilot Cornell Notes, because the girls I have in that class are superstars and are always up for a change! (Plus I wasn't sure if it would work out!)  We started our lesson with this book: 

I drew the "Cornell" lines in the girls' notebooks and modeled where to put the date and title, modifying slightly from the high school models I had seen in my grad class. I wrote the words "author" and "illustrator" on the "vocabulary/essential question" side of the line, and they located the names and wrote them in their notes. 

Once we moved to the carpet to start reading, we stopped to record characters and setting.  We filled in time after we finished the story and were discussing setting in greater detail. 

What I like about Cornell Notes:
  • I can use the bottom portion as closure, because my district has put a huge emphasis on showing that in each lesson.  I had the girls write their favorite parts of the story, then turn and share with each other.  In a large class, you could have them "think, pair, share" with multiple partners or cycle around the room before turning in their notebooks.  The next day, you could have them review the characters or setting before re-telling the story or starting a main idea/cause and effect lesson. 
  • They wrote the notes in their own words, which meant they could read them back to me!
  • For a Read-Aloud/Guided Reading, it allowed them to go back in the book and search for text clarification and spelling of words
  • I can ask them to flip to their page on "The Old Lady Who..." and tell me who the characters were in two months and they'll be able to find it! (Post-It notes fall out)
  • Plus...I love how neat they are! Neat! Clean! Uncluttered! Hooray!

I can't wait to start this method with all my groups!  We'll still use post-it's for chapter books, but I like this for quick content-based or mini-lessons and shorter read-alouds.  How do you teach your students to take notes?


  1. I hadn't heard of Cornell Notes before. Thank you for sharing them. They look great and organization always is a help!
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. Great lesson! I remember doing Cornell notes in high school, but never thought about using them in my teaching. I really like the closure aspect. I think I will have to give them a try!

    Eclectic Educating

  3. thank's for your share i really like your post

  4. This is awesome. We thought Cornell Notes were only for K4 and above.

    If you'd like to create Cornell Notes online, Classmint is a great service.


Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top