Using Post-its to "Capture" Thinking

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SWBAT generate ideas while reading and capture them!

Big Idea

What Should Students Write on Their Post-its?

My Lens

My goal is to get all student writing post-its appropriate for their book levels.  In Room 14 I have students reading in books ranging from Fountas and Pinnell reading levels I-J-K to U-V- W.  

I will differentiate the task by presenting an anchor chart that is differentiated for the post-iting task. I'll need to do this because the different book level bands require different reading skills to navigate the books. I want students to be asking themselves questions.  Such as "What and I going to capture on my post-its?" and "How is this helping me understand what I am reading?"

The Mini-Lesson

15 minutes

"Students, many of you are already writing post-its to capture the important events in your books. You know how a spider spins a web to capture juicy insects to eat, right?  Look at this picture of a web.  Did you know that there are different kinds of webs?  Lets look at a few different types. There are different types of webs, and kinds of silk based on what the spider is catching!  It's like that with you post-it note, too!

Your post-it notes are like a web to capture juicy details, events, and ideas to get you thinking.  And thinking is what grows your mind to make you smarter.  Today I want you to start thinking a little more critically about what you information you are capturing on your post-its just like there are different kinds of webs there are different kinds of post-its.  

I would like you to look at this anchor chart that lists the different book bands and find the level that you are reading in.


I-J-Ks your job is to post-it who and what is happening on each page of your books.  It is important that you are following what happens to the characters in your books from the beginning to the end of the story.  When you share with your partners you need to be able to talk about what changes happened in the book.

L-M-Ns:  Your job is to be able to do what the I-J-Ks are doing and also be envisioning scenes in the book.  Your main job as your reading is to make a movie in your mind of the events.  Your levels of books do not have as many pictures as I-K-K books so you have to do the mental work of picturing yourself.  That takes a lot of stamina and mental focus so work on staying engaged with your reading and "read your self wide awake"!  You will also be having to infer the things that the author doen't come right out and tell you.  That's the fun part.  These books get you thinking, that's for sure. Also, you willl have to learn a lot of new words a you read.  Be on the look out for new words and use the sentence to figure out what they probably mean.

OPQs you have an even bigger job and it takes even more mental stamina to comprehend your texts.  You will be paying attention to who and what, making movies in your mind, inferring, and earning new words as you read. Your post-iting task is  is to be learning about your characters.  A tip I can give you is to pay close attention to what your characters day and do.  Also be on the look out to what sub characters say and do when they interact with the main character.  You could write a post-it that says, " My character____________is worried about ______________because____________________.  My character is the kind of person who_______________because_________________________.  You will also be reading about concepts such as war, death, freedom and justice.  So be thinking about the theme of your book.  Be ready to talk about big ideas of your book in your own words.


RSTs+  I want you to be doing all the mental work that happens at the levels before you and your specific post-it task is to pay attention to the setting.  How does it impact the story?  Make sure you capture post-its about the time and place your story takes place.  Also be thinking of the big themes in your books.  Your books are complicated and the authors usually include more than one theme in this level of book.  There will also be sub plots going on- so you will have alot of characters and problems to follow from the beginning to the end.  I want you to also be thinking of other books you have read and how they are similar to this book. You can think about how would this story be written if it were in a different time period or place.   After you finish a book- what do you take away from it?  Be ready to talk about the themes and issues and have an opinion about them, 

All students will be working on reading stamina and increasing their vocabularies.  I will ask students to write down new words and start using them in their discussions.  I want students to develop their reading muscles.  I remind students to push themselves to stay focused.  I support students to be aware of when they don't understand the text and to reread that part or write a question about it so they can share it with their partner.

Independent Reading with Share Out about Kinds of Post-its

35 minutes

During the independent reading today and for the next several days I will watch the students get to work.  I let them read and write post-its independently before jumping in and conferring with them.  I leave plenty of time at the end of the workshop for partner shares.  I will bring my student to the rug and have them share so I can listen in and have partnerships share whole group. I feel that this time of the year it is critical that students take hold of their own reading and work hard to get everything out of their books they can.  In this way, they will have lots to share and it will lift the determination of the entire reading community.   Half way through independent reading, I will say, "Students, find your book level on the anchor charts.  Look at the post-its you are writing.  Check to see if you are capturing important ideas related to your book level. I want to share this student's post-it.  Do you see he how captured the name of the main character and the big problem in the book?  He also is doing some great thinking in this level of book because he is adding the main character's traits.  He said Greg is responsible and gave evidence from the text to support his inference.  Take a minute to study your post-its and then I will have you turn and talk with your partner and share your post-its from today."

After student share with each other, ask for students to share for the whole class what information their partners captured on their post-its.  AS they are sharing capture their words on a class anchor chart.


In a future lessons, I will teach student how to explicitly remove their post-its from the book pages and insert them into their Reading Response book in a way that is organized.  They will also be taught how to later go back and reflect on their post-it ideas by writing additional ideas next to their post-its on the lines in their notebooks.  This is as  way to deepen their original thoughts and to revise, explain, and cite evidence from the text.