Metacognitive Note-Taking

Sticky Notes, Monitoring Comprehension

UDL 3.4 UDL 6.3

Reading metacognition is the awareness of self-monitoring comprehension while reading. Good readers naturally do it: They ask questions, make connections, and find meaning while they read. Metacognitive Note Taking is a strategy that teachers use to teach students when and how to be more active while they read to monitor their comprehension. Some students are taught to underline and make notes in the margins. Another method is described by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis in their book [[ | Strategies That Work ]]. They describe how to use sticky notes with special codes for different types of metacognitive skills. Using this strategy while reading teaches students to become more active readers so that they can eventually comprehend passages more closely without the use of sticky notes.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Notetaking Tool

Metacognitive Notetaking Guides

Reading comprehension note-taking templates to help students keep track of their thinking during reading activities. Can be used by students while reading independently, with partners, or during whole class activities.

Grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · English Language Arts, Reading · 2 pages

Notetaking Tool

Annotating Poster and Student Guide

Classroom poster and student guides that detail how to annotate while reading. Provides a key for students and teachers to use when taking notes while reading passages. The poster can be displayed in the classroom and the student guides can be cut and glued to a desk, folder, notebook or laminated and used as a bookmark.

Grade 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · English Language Arts, Reading · 2 pages


Reading Comprehension Posters

Posters describing various reading comprehension strategies. Can be made into larger posters for classroom wall or kept as smaller posters to help students self-monitor their comprehension while reading.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6 · English Language Arts, Reading · 2 pages

Implementation Tips

Research Projects
Students can use different colors of sticky notes for different texts they are using for research. They can take notes in the text, then pull them out of the texts, combine them and organize their research into a coherent outline or concept map.
Younger Students
Students who are not yet writing can use pictures to help them put an image to a connection. For example, if a student reads a book about a fish and has a connection to a movie they can draw a character from the movie instead of writing the title of the movie.
Students can combine sticky notes together as a whole when reading a text together or finding new information about a topic.


Reading a Novel
A sticky note with an "!" on it might indicate an exciting moment, and a "?" might indicate a question that the student had while reading. Students can also use "C" to mark when a new character is described. Older readers can use the code while also writing a few sentences about what they found.
Reading Informational Text
The letter "L" can stand for something new that the student learned while reading. The codes "T-T", "T-S", "T-W" can be used for finding connections: Text to Text, Text to Self, and Text to World.
While reading, students may come across a word they don't know. They can code the word with a "V" and put the word on the sticky note. At the end of the chapter, they can look up the word and add the definition to the sticky note to add to their student dictionary.

Related Strategies