Organizing Information in Interactive Notebooks

62 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT set-up interactive notebooks while highlighting expectations on how information will be organized from left to right.

Big Idea

Simon Says, "Interact Your Thoughts In a Spiral Notebook"

Warm-Up: Word Game

10 minutes

Why is it important to be organized? Organization is defined by the ways we arrange or create order. I have found that in my years of teaching organization is not a fond activity for students. Not only does an interactive notebook require organization, but  particulars of the left and right side make students fall out of LOVE with it!

I wanted to find a FUN way to get students excited about organizing their work in my class this school year. To bring on the EXCITEMENT, I develop a word search activity where students have to make additional words from the main word "organize." On the board, this prompt is written on the whiteboard

 In groups of 4 create as many words from the word “organize.”

In the allotted time, students work to see how many words can be devised from the main word. Check the Organize - Word Search Example list compiled by all groups in this class period!The purpose of this activity allows students to understand how important being organized means to school and preparing oneself for assignments. Discovering many smaller words from the big word will allow students to understand just how much is involved with being organized. As students work cooperatively, I walk around to each group to hear the conversation and words developed in this activity. At the end of the time, I will allow the group with the most words to share their answers with the class. As duplicate words are being presented, I have students eliminate those same words from their list. From here words not selected by the group will be shared to see other possible words found from the word “organize.” 

Building Knowledge: Highlighting What's Important

5 minutes

The prior activity required students to understand "organize" in different ways. In order for students to understand how organization relate to the interactive notebook, they will read Language Arts 8 Interactive Notebook handout silently. After reading I will ask students to highlight just words in the first paragraph that identifies how and why their notebooks need organization. 

Highlighting is a skill that allow students to emphasize or make prominent a key point and concept. In this activity, students are being asked to read a text, infer its importance, and highlight key details. See here in the highlights of handout what students highlighted in this part of the lesson. There are other words throughout the document that discuss the structure of the notebook. If I would have asked students to continue highlighting the document, the following terms would be colored:

  • date
  • page number
  • content 
  • processing activities

Modeling how to set-up notebooks

30 minutes

I can't believe the interactive notebook has sustained itself inside the four walls of my classroom. I first learned of this concept while working with my team's science teacher. After learning the "ocd" nature behind its contents, I fell in LOVE with its concepts and overall look.

The interactive notebook is a great way for students to organize information from the left to right. Although my students in the past have HATED the notebook, I love flipping through pages seeing how Left side possibilities of each notebook yields different ways that my students process information in my classroom. As I walk students through the process of setting-up the notebook, each direction is completed by students prior to moving on to the next step. Check out my interactive notebook set-up video to see examples of how these notebooks look at the beginning of the year and by the end of the school year.