Incredible Shrinking Notes

This lesson plan uses different sizes of sticky notes or index cards to help students narrow down important information from a speech, text, or visual.  It allows the student to deduce information down to the main idea or help to summarize it. This is a full lesson plan that could be adapted to fit any reading material, speech, or visual. It can also be a lesson plan to hit several GLE's or reinforce what you have already taught.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique...
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts,...
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the...
GLE 0701.2.2
Distinguish among summaries, paraphrases, and critiques.
GLE 0701.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
GLE 0701.5.3
Demonstrate an understanding of deductive and inductive reasoning.
GLE 0701.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas and supporting details of informational texts.
GLE 0701.7.3
Recognize how visual and sound techniques and design elements (e.g., special effects, camera angles, music) carry or influence messages in various media.
SPI 0701.2.7
Select the most appropriate behaviors for participating productively in a team (e.g., ask primarily relevant questions that move the team toward its goal and...
Prepare for collaborative discussions on 7th grade level topics and texts; engage effectively with varied partners, building on others' ideas and...
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media formats; explain how this clarifies a topic, text, or issue under study.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • Listen to or read a brief biography of Amelia Earhart or another grade-appropriate reading selection.
  • Fill a 3- x 5-inch sticky note or index card with important facts from the reading selection.
  • Narrow down those notes to the important notes that fit on a medium-size (approximately 3- x 3-inch) sticky note or card.
  • Narrow down those notes to the most important notes that will fit on a small (approximately 1- x 2-inch) sticky note or card.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials Needed:

  • three "sticky notes" or index cards in three different sizes -- approximately 3- x 5 inches, 3 x 3 inches, and 1 x 2 inches - for each student
  • a brief biography of Amelia Earhart or another grade-appropriate reading selection