Cornell Notes During Reading Activity How it is Used: This note-taking method helps students to take organized notes by enabling them to focus on the main ideas. It helps them to keep in mind what they are looking for as they are reading a passage or the text. 1. Have students divide a piece of paper into three sections and label as found in the example below. This can also be a graphic organizer that you provide for the students. Topic_______________________________________ Questions/Main Ideas/ Key Concepts Date____________ Notes Summary 2. Have students record the essential questions, main ideas and/or key concepts in the left column. (You can provide students with a list of items you would like for them to include in the left column or have students record the essential questions, bold terms, objectives, etc., if reading from the text.) 3. Students are to record the answers to the questions, provide supporting details for the main ideas and/or identify and describe the key concepts in the right column. 4. Remind students not to use complete sentences and to skip a line between ideas and topics. 5. After note taking is complete, students should write a summary of the main ideas in the summary section at the bottom of their notes. Why it Works: Students have a guided purpose for their reading. It keeps them focused and they are always aware of what they are looking for. The Cornell Notes method is proven to benefit students when they are required to synthesize and apply knowledge of a concept. It also serves as a great study tool.