Learning Center


Brainstorm Details & Take Notes Using the ABC Chart

October 14, 2010

The signature of a great teaching strategy is its flexibility. That’s why you’ll love the ABC Chart. Here are a couple of ways to utilize this tool to improve content comprehension.

1. NOTE TAKING. While reading, students can collect details and information on an ABC Chart. With the reading purpose identified in the middle, students can be reading and noting information that targets that purpose. If the topic in the middle of the chart was “Battle at Concord,” students would jot down specifics details from their social studies reading that address that topic or purpose.

2. TEST REVIEW. Imagine you are administering a science test tomorrow on the solar system. With multiple ABC Charts, students are assigned to groups. Each group has its own ABC Chart with a sub-topic in the center (e.g., stars, sun, planets, etc.). Give the small groups 10 minutes or so to brainstorm all the details they can think of on that sub-topic. Have them jot them on the chart. When the time is up, have the groups stand up, leave the chart behind, and rotate to the next chart. Have them read what the previous group listed and add more details. Continue this rotation until all teams have read and listed on all the sub-topics. This is a fabulous way to review key concepts, facts, and vocabulary while providing movement and activity for your bodily-kinesthetic learners. It also works great for reviewing literature. Your groups might include characters, setting, problem, solution, climax, etc. TIP: If you laminate these large ABC Charts, students can use write-on/wipe-off markers instead of sticky notes.

The popular poster-size ABC Chart has been recreated into a colorful Word document for those teachers utilizing Smart Board technology within their classrooms. Simply display the ABC Chart onto the screen and either write on it with the interactive markers or type into the document from the computer. This approach makes for an effective note-taking strategy while reading.

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