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Take Note:
Five Lessons for
Note-Taking Fun

If recent surveys are any indicator, cheating and plagiarism are on the rise. As teachers, however, we might be able to reverse that trend by teaching our students to take good notes. Included: Five fun lessons that teach needed note-taking skills.


  • In 2002, a national survey of 4,500 high school students found that 75 percent of them engaged in cheating and more than half plagiarized content they found on the Internet.
  • In a recent survey of teachers, 100 percent of the teachers have caught students cheating.
  • In a 1998 survey of students, four out of five top students admitted cheating.
From the
Ed World Archive

Teaching Study Skills: Ideas That Work!
Three educators share their tips and tricks to improve study skills!

I Was There When High School Research Papers Came Alive!
English teacher Ernie Beachey talks about his creative research paper project.

Put an End to Plagiarism in Your Classroom
A printable Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.

Cheating in the Classroom: How to Prevent It (and How to Handle It If It Happens)
Classroom management expert Howard Seeman offers easy-to-apply advice.

What Can We Do to Curb Student Cheating?
How can teachers combat cheating? Included: Teacher-tested tips.

I Read It on the Internet! -- Teaching About Web Literacy
Teach your kids which Web sites to trust.

Who Said That? How to Cite Electronic Resources
Four mini style guides students can save -- and use!

Students have always copied text into their research papers verbatim. Some have plagiarized entire term papers. It seems, however, that the issues of copying and plagiarism are getting more notice now than ever. With the advent of the Internet, students seem to be more tempted than ever to "borrow" sentences, paragraphs, and entire pages.

Could it be that this apparent spike in cheating has a very basic root cause? Could it be that students do not know how to take notes, how to summarize or paraphrase text, or how to do a research paper correctly? Could it be that student cheating is actually a reflection of the need for patient teaching of those skills?

This week, Education World offers five simple lessons to help you instruct students and to provide practice in the skills of note taking and the associated skills of summarizing and paraphrasing.


Click each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Appropriate grade levels for each lesson appear in parentheses.)

The Long and Short of It: Summarizing Important Details
A brief Amelia Earhart biography is used to teach the skill of summarizing. (Grades 3-12)

Incredible Shrinking Notes
A fun 3-step process helps students "boil down" note taking. (Grades 3-12)

Note Taking By Crayon
Use crayons or markers to teach note-taking skills. (Grades 3-12)

Graphic Organizer: Research Note Taking Made Easy
This graphic organizer helps students gather research notes for writing. (Grades K-8)

Declaration of Independence From Plagiarism
Paraphrase the Declaration of Independence into modern English. (Grades 3-12)



  • Please No Posers: Learning to Paraphrase Without Plagiarizing
    Students explore correct ways to reference information sources and avoid plagiarism by accurately summarizing a New York Times article.
  • Note Taking: Grades 4-6
    A fun activity gets fourth graders to take concise, pertinent notes.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
    Simple graphic organizers help students determine if they are plagiarizing or safely using researched material.
  • How to Do a Research Project
    Oregon teacher Gary Giddens offers his 13-step approach.
  • How Much Cheating Is Going On?
    Information about recent student surveys on the subject of cheating, as well as links to term paper sites and other plagiarism resources.
  • Abbreviations in Note Taking
    A long list of abbreviations students might use as they take notes.