Reading time: 7 minutes
A Fun Family Exercise in Taking Notes
Lead a fun learning exercise watching a favorite movie you already know and use it as a study case in taking notes. This is similar to exercise one but is more nuanced and works better for teens. Movies or even TV shows can be fun training tools for note-taking, and they have lots of content you can use.
- Select an appropriate movie for the family, from dramas and comedies, or animations, with interesting characters and plot twists.
- Next, choose a note-taking format like the Cornell method, then provide copies for each. See next page for an example. Download a form from the internet and print it.
- Provide your kids instructions on what kind of notes to take during the entire movie. For example, ask each child to make notes on four things:
- 1) what the story is about,
- 2) describe each of the main characters in the movie,
- 3) what each did to advance the plot, and (this last one is interesting because it provokes the most thinking)
- 4) describe each main character’s motivation for doing what they did.
- Ask each to take notes during the movie using good note-taking techniques. No transcribing or quoting the characters – everything must be in their own words.
- Pause the movie several times at important plot transition points and give your kids a few minutes to time to think and record ideas, but again without discussion or sharing.
- At the end of the movie give a little more time to improve and summarize their notes. This is an important step to better memory.
- After a break, hold a roundtable discussion where each child shares and explains his notes. Take one question at a time so you can explore who did a better job of capturing information and why. Don’t emphasize right and wrong – focus on getting better.
Compare ideas and extract insights on how to take better notes. Remind your kids that good note-taking improves memory and recall of information. Then practice this with your studies!
The Cornell Method
This is the most widely used note-taking methods. A good note system encourages student interaction with the information and summarization of key ideas. As mentioned before, good notes are recorded in a way that makes them easier to review and use in the future. This lends to self-quizzing, recitation, and retrieval practice. Below is a layout of the Cornell Method.
You can make your kid’s pages by using a ruler to create these sections on a blank sheet of lined paper, or you can purchase pads of paper already set up for it.
This is a proven method that is easy to learn. Here is an excellent 6-minute video to watch with your child on the Cornell Method.
Click on the link: Cornell Method
This exercise comes from the online course – Improving Your Child’s Learning Power. Click here to signup for the course.