Home : Literacy : Comprehension Strategies : Thinking Strategies

Interactive Notes are a tool that guide students through the reading process as they read informational or literary texts. Students think about the text before they read, question and comment about the text as they read, and summarize and synthesize after they read. 

Interactive Notes Sample
Interactive Notes Modified for all Content Areas

The act of annotating a text is another tool to help students record what they are "thinking" about as they read.  Students may use this tool to gain a deeper understanding of a text after they have read it once before or to share their thinking the first time reading it.


When giving students a reading assignment, it is just as important for them to understand the process of how to read the text as it is to understand the content of the material you want them to learn. 

This is an adaptation of the DRTA (Directed Reading Thinking Activity) where students are given a graphic organizer with 6-12 squares, each containing a teacher-directed prompt.  The prompt tells students specific pages to read and a focus for each section (answer a question, a drawing, list of words, prediction, etc.).

1.  Students preview a section of text with the teacher.
2.  Introduce the first prompt on the graphic organizer.  Students read and respond to the first prompt.
3.  Students share with a partner their answers and continue on with the next prompt – reading and answering the prompt.
4.  Once taught in class, students can also use this as a tool when reading for homework.

This strategy can be used to promote comprehension by having students apply thinking strategies that "good readers" use when reading difficult text.  Students are asked to:

1.  make predictions
2.  summarize information
3.  ask questions
4.  clarify unknow words and phrases

This activity requires students to first summarize material, and then think metacognitively about that material through questions, comments, connections, etc.  Students are asked to become more actively involved in their learning as they reflect on what they are taught.

Here are some double note sheet ideas:
Lecture Notes
Reflection About What I am Learning
What I Learned
What I Was Thinking
Text Passage and Page #
This reminds me of…
Text Passage and Page #
This is important because
Text Passage and Page #
I wonder
Text Passage and Page #
I figured out that
Text Passage and Page #
I am confused because

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