Note Taking Fun

Empowered Learner
Different types of paper pads


Note taking is an essential skill that should begin in the elementary. Students should be taking notes as they do research, watch videos and listen to lectures. Research shows that when students listen to a lecture that if they take notes they will better retain the information. The students can highlight the key ideas and add their own thoughts to help them study for a test. 

Students can use note taking worksheets provided by the teacher, take notes in their own notebook or use a mobile device. Students can take pictures of notes that the teacher has written on the board and use those for retention also. 

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand the note taking is an essential skill that will help throughout school and work. 
  • Be able to take notes with paper/pencil or with a laptop or mobile device. 
  • Be able to use QR codes for websites. 


  1. QR Cores: A QR code (quick response code) is a type of 2D bar code that is often used to provide access to information through a mobile device.
  2. Note taking: Note taking is the practice of writing down pieces of information.


  • View the Note Taking ideas for 4th graders. 
  • Learn how to create QR codes for student notebooks. 
    • A QR code is a digital code that the teacher prints out and gives to the students. The student uses his/her mobile device to scan the QR code and it will take the student to the website whose URL is embedded in the QR code. It allows students not to have to type in a URL and get it wrong. 
  • Decide which note taking tool that the students will use. 
    • A paper notebook will be a good place to start.
      • The teacher can give the students QR codes for their notebooks. 
      • Have the students have different colors of pens and highlighters to highlight main ideas. 
    • If the school has a 1:1 device program, the students can use Google Docs or Word Online
      • Students can highlight, spell check, add hyperlinks if they are using a digital note taker. 
  • Watch the following videos:


  • See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 
  • Provide students with audio or video taking devices for note taking. 


  1. The teacher will either assign a project to the students, give a lecture or show a video to begin teaching the note taking process. 
  2. The teacher will show one or more of the note taking videos to the students. 
  3. The teacher and students will have a discussion about note taking and go over the main points of the best way to do it. 
  4. The students will practice their note taking skills during the project, lecture or video. 
    • The teacher should give students a template the first time they are taking notes. Use one of the templates from the Pinterest site or create your own. 
    • The students should each have a notebook to use to take notes in subsequent projects. 
    • The teacher should check the student notebooks to make sure they are taking appropriate notes and work with them if they are not learning how to take notes. 
    • Allow students to record the lesson or take pictures of teacher notes on the white/black board. 

The teacher will create QR codes for the students to put into the note taking notebooks. 

Assessment Options

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • The teacher will check the worksheet templates to see if they have filled it out correctly during the note taking process
  • The teacher will check the note taking notebooks periodically to make sure students are taking appropriate notes. 

ISTE Standards

Empowered Learner 
1a. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

1b. Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.

1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.



  • Take notes while working on a research paper. 
  • Take notes while reading an assigned book for class. 


  • Take notes during science class. 
  • Take videos or pictures of experiments. 

Social Studies

  • Take notes during social studies class. 

This task card was created by Melissa White, 21Things Project Manager, REMC Association of Michigan, February 2018.