Interactive Notebooks for High School

Use Interactive Notebooks in a high school setting to promote creativity, engagement, and analytical thinking. Learn about how to lay out your spreads to scaffold and maximize student output, all while maintaining an organization that helps students use their notebooks as a reference.

We just finished our Short Story unit and WOW, what an amazing time! I’m using Interactive Notebooks for the first time this year with my 9th graders, and so I’ve been converting/reimagining a lot of my Short Story lessons for ISNs. It’s been a major treat for me, so I’m here today to talk about how that’s going.

Interactive Notebooks in ELA

Use the In-Through-Out method to organize your Interactive Notebooks in High School. This guides the students through the lesson and creates rich independent practice. TeachNouvelle.comI try to set up every lesson using the In-Through-Out model. For me, this means the following breakdown: “IN” is a bellringer; “THROUGH” is notes, in-class group work, and graphic organizers; and “OUT” is independent practice or homework. This has really helped focus the work I give students – I have to choose the most important part, because it’s got to fit on the bottom half of the left page. That means that Interactive Notebooks actually decrease busy work in my classroom – hooray!

I have also facilitated the notebooks in my classroom by taking pictures of my model interactive notebook for our class website. I use sticky notes to put the various task descriptions on the page, and I go ahead and paste in all blank organizers for students.

 

Use the In-Through-Out method to organize your Interactive Notebooks in High School. This guides the students through the lesson and creates rich independent practice. TeachNouvelle.comI also got to teach my favorite Disney song as part of an Irony lesson this year. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan is the perfect bellringer to get kids thinking and talking about dramatic and situational irony. Also, it’s got a really clear plot structure, so you can go ahead and review that with students, too.

I actually flipped my Irony lesson for the first time this year, and linked Christopher Warner’s irony videos on our class website. I gave students guided notes to complete on the right side of that page for homework, and then they came to class ready to discuss (and read “The Lottery”, of course!).

 

Use the In-Through-Out method to organize your Interactive Notebooks in High School. This guides the students through the lesson and creates rich independent practice. TeachNouvelle.comI also tried my hand at creating a foldable, popping my list of Lit Terms into an Interactive Notebook-ready list. My students loved these, and it helped them study for a Literary Devices Quiz. I went ahead and updated all of the ELA Vocabulary products in my TpT store to include this option.

 

 

 

 

 

Find out how I use Tootsie Roll Pops to teach Symbolism!

Use "Ready Rubrics" in your Interactive Notebooks to help students assess themselves and each other during skill practice. TeachNouvelle.comLastly, I converted one of my favorite lessons into an Interactive Notebook spread. After reading “The Lottery”, we practice embedding direct quotes and paraphrases smoothly into paragraphs using the Introduce-Cite-Explain method. We do scaffolded practice, and then students work on their own to integrate two quotes. I even created Ready Rubrics to go in the margins of the notebook so that we can do peer and teacher feedback.

UPDATE: You can now find all of my Short Stories lessons in an Interactive Notebook format over at my TeachersPayTeachers store. This unit is ready-to-go with ideas, plans, resources, handouts, student samples, projects, quizzes, and rubrics.

What are you up to in your Interactive Notebooks? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Use Interactive Notebooks in a high school setting to promote creativity, engagement, and analytical thinking. Learn about how to lay out your spreads to scaffold and maximize student output, all while maintaining an organization that helps students use their notebooks as a reference.

27 Comments

  • Chris Sexton October 15, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Wow, so nicely organized, with helpful foldables and rubrics. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Leah October 16, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I absolutely LOVE interactive notebooks! The In-Out-Through is a fabulous way to structure and focus a lesson. Thank you so much for the generous freebie! I can’t wait to check it out!

    Reply
  • Lyndsey October 16, 2015 at 1:01 am

    I love this, and can’t wait to use in my class!!!

    Reply
  • Amy Brown Science October 16, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Such great ideas for interactive notebooks! Thanks for sharing your materials with our fellow teachers.

    Reply
  • Teachers Resource Force October 16, 2015 at 4:57 am

    I really enjoyed your post and the freebie, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Room 213 October 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

    In, through, out…I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • History Gal October 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I also love your idea of focusing on in, through, out. Having a focus makes creating a daily lesson plan so much easier! Thank you for the special treat!

    Reply
  • Connie Casserly October 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I really want to learn more about making interactive notebooks. Thank you for this lesson.

    Connie Casserly

    Reply
    • Danielle Hall October 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Connie! I definitely recommend trying them out for a unit and seeing how it goes. That’s what I did for our first unit, and I was hooked. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • OCBeachTeacher October 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I love using short stories to teach irony, and “The Lottery” is one of my favorites! Do you use “Story of an Hour” or “The War Prayer”? These two stories are excellent for teaching irony, too. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Danielle Hall October 17, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      I actually used “Story of an Hour” as my Short Stories test this year. The results were super fun to read. I’ll check out the other suggestion, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • Vanessa Jason October 16, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    These are great! I LOVE that song by the way ๐Ÿ™‚
    Vanessa

    Reply
  • Lisa @Mrs. Spangler in the Middle October 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I love your way of organizing the notebooks with in-through-out. That really helps me organize my own! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Danielle Hall October 17, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Lisa, I would LOVE to see some of your notebook spreads!

      Reply
  • Addie Williams October 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Wow! Your notebooks look fantastic! Love the idea of In, Through, Out.
    Happy Halloween!

    ~Addie

    Reply
  • Lindsey October 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I sent you an email ๐Ÿ™‚ I love what you’re doing and I would love to see the ISN stuff so I am following on Bloglovin!

    Reply
  • Brooe March 19, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I have 135 students daily. How to handle ISN with this number. …

    Reply
    • Danielle Hall March 21, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Hi, Brooke!

      I feel your pain! I have done ISNs with this number of students. My best advice is to choose 1-2 entries per checkpoint that you’ll read, and grade the rest for completion. I’ve never felt guilty doing this because my main goal is for each student to create an individualized study tool/point of reference. I stagger my checkpoints for each class, and I also do a notebook check while my students are testing. You can also try letting students pick 2 entries you’ll read – they can indicate these with sticky notes.

      Hope this helps!
      -Danielle @ Nouvelle

      Reply
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    […] Weโ€™re big fans of interactive notebooks. Check out this blogโ€™s organized, student-centered post about how to use interactive notebooks for high school ELA. […]

    Reply
  • Kimberly Street June 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I have an 8th grader who uses interactive notebooks in his class. I have been looking at your examples and am understanding them better (he could only explain his from the student perspective). I would like to use interactive notebooks in my 11th grade American Literature class this upcoming school year but I’m still not sure how to lay out the format. Do you start off numbering the pages then giving students vocabulary? Also, my school utilizes graphic organizers A LOT and I don’t want to confuse/inundate the students with so many different papers/points-of-reference. Can you please offer some guidance?

    Reply
    • Danielle Hall June 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Hi, Kimberly!

      Thank you for your question. I lay out each unit as a series of spreads (two facing pages), using the In-Through-Out method I describe in this post. I will email you an example unit sheet. For me, graphic organizers are teacher-guided work, so they would go on the “Through” page. You can have students draw in their organizers instead of printing them, and then they can fill them in directly on the page. Sometimes, if we have an organizer for the course of a whole novel, I will have students use both pages. This still has all of the benefits of an organizer, but without all of the extra paper.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Best,
      -Danielle @ Nouvelle

      Reply
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  • C Poole August 24, 2016 at 11:53 am

    This is exactly what I was trying to find. My students have computers now (one-to-one) in the school so I am trying to decide if I make this completely hands on or modify for an electronic version. (Much research is making me lean to the former.) My school also has in place an Essential Question, Know and Do AVID strategy to incorporate school wide. I am considering connecting the In, Through, Out to these: In=EQ, Through=Know and Do=Out to keep to my school’s initiative. Thank you for the wonderful resources.

    It’s amazing the things you can find on Pinterest.

    Reply
    • Danielle Hall September 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Thanks so much for reaching out, Christine! I love the idea of using this for AVID, and it’s a great lesson structure in general. As for an electronic version, I hope to start work on that soon. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

      Best,
      -Danielle @ Nouvelle ELA

      Reply
  • Veronica Angulo November 30, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I love interactive Notebooks. Can’t wait to try this with my students.

    Reply

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