Making Lectures Come Alive

8. Write More

Use writing and note taking strategies before during and after lectures to support student learning


When students have a piece of writing, give instructions on the writing to mark it up.

1. Highlight the main idea.
2. Circle three important facts.
3. Draw a box around the important concept.
4. Underline a word you want to remember.
5. Write a summary or opinion in the margin.

Quick Writes:  

These are great to begin and end a lecture to check for understanding.

• Think about what you learned on a post it and stick it on the door as you leave.
• Write two things you learned about this topic you did not know.
• Write the main idea of this lecture today.
• Write about how this new learning will make your life better.


• Give each student 3 index cards.

• Write these starters on each card:

Card 1: What?  What have you learned about the topic?
Card 2: So, What? Why is this information important to you?
Card 3: Now, What?  What is a way you can use the new information?

• During the lecture or unit, periodically give students time to fill in their cards.

Fill In The Blanks

• Before the lecture, have a worksheet created that has important words missing. 
• During the lecture, pause and give students time to fill in the missing words and concepts.