Have you ever wondered how to make your writing lessons more hands-on, engaging, or fun? Or maybe you’re wondering how to engage your reluctant writers. Or perhaps you’re just looking to try something different in your classroom when it comes to the prewrite and planning part of the writing process. Either way, I highly recommend using writing interactive notebooks!
What are interactive notebooks?
Interactive notebooks are a hands-on way for students to learn. They are still a printable, but instead of students writing on a worksheet, interactive notebooks allow students to write on or under flaps and sections.
Interactive notebooks can be glued onto plain paper, lined paper, or in a student workbook, notebook, or journal. They can also be printed on white paper and glued onto colored paper or, as shown in the photo below, printed on colored paper and glued onto white paper. The colored paper can really add a pop to your student’s work!
Why use interactive notebooks?
Students are still writing, but the cutting, pasting, and opening and closing of flaps makes the activity much more hands-on, and therefore, interesting! Also, there’s fine motor practice. Win, win.
Unlike some hands-on activities, interactive notebooks are no prep for you, just print and go! There’s no colorred ink or laminating required on your part.
Finally, interactive notebooks are great for organizing ideas. There are usually flaps and sections which allow students to separate their ideas.
How to use them during writing lessons
Interactive notebooks are used during math, science, social studies, and reading lessons. However, I think that writing lessons are an awesome opportunity to use them as well!
I suggest using writing interactive notebooks during the prewrite part of the writing process. The prewrite is the part before students start writing a draft. It’s where they research, brainstorm, plan, and organize ideas.
You can give your students an interactive notebook that suits the writing genre/concept you are teaching. For example –
- If you are teaching narrative writing, your students can brainstorm their characters, setting, problem, or solution.
- If you are teaching informational writing, your students can research and write down facts.
- If you are teaching opinion writing, your students can plan their reasons.
- If you are teaching ‘how to’ procedure writing, your students can organize their steps.
- If you are teaching paragraph writing, your students can write ideas for their topic sentence, supporting details, and closing sentence.
Interactive notebooks can also be used for first drafts. Students often draw pictures, write words/phrases, or jot down short sentences. However, if the sections/flaps are big enough, students can write full sentences or paragraphs. In this case, students can essentially write a rough first draft.
How do students make them?
INBs are pretty easy for students to work with. You just need to print them and give students the topic. Scissors and glue are required. Students just need to cut along the dotted lines and add glue underneath one part. Then, they write underneath the flaps.
Your emergent writers may draw ideas, need scribing, write words/phrases, or write short sentences. Other students may write lengthy sentences or paragraphs.
Finally, students can color in the clip art if they would like to!
Interested in the activities pictured in this post?
Click here to grab these activities from Teachers Pay Teachers.
There are 20 notebooks:
- 5 narrative writing interactive notebooks (e.g., characters, setting, problem, solution, beginning, middle, end)
- 5 opinion writing interactive notebooks (e.g., opinion, reasons, examples)
- 5 informational writing interactive notebooks (e.g., facts, supporting details)
- 2 ‘how to’ writing interactive notebooks (e.g., steps, first, then, next, last)
- 3 paragraph writing interactive notebooks (e.g., topic sentence, supporting details, closing sentence)
This resource has differentiation!
Yep, that’s right. You can give the more simple 2 part notebooks to some students and 5 part notebooks to others. For example, one student can just be sharing their opinion and one reason, while another can be sharing their opinion, three reasons, and a conclusion!
Even if you want to give all of your students the same notebook, it’s great that they increase in difficulty. At the beginning of the school year or writing unit, you can start with an easier notebook. You can then progress through to more complicated ones.
There are 20 notebooks that cover so many writing genres! This is bang for your buck as this resource can be used ALL year long (and for many years to come, even if you change grade levels)!
Wanna save 10%?
Grab these interactive notebooks from the website you’re on now and use the code TERRIFIC10 at checkout to save 10%! Click here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about interactive notebooks in this post!