Using Informational Text Interactive Notebooks in the CLassroom

WOW– I am embarrassed to say that this is my first blog post in three years. Yes, that’s right, THREE YEARS! I’m so excited to be back, though, and to show off my fancy new blog design by Laine Sutherland from A Little Peace of Africa! Well, here goes nothing!

After two months of working on this product, I have finally released the Information Text Interactive Notebook for grades 7-12 in my Teachers pay Teachers store.  Let me tell you… I took my time on this product because I wanted to make sure it was absolutely perfect for YOUR students.  Each page has detailed instructions for the students and meaningful interactive activities that will help your students think outside the box and beyond the surface of the text.
Some may think I am crazy, but I strongly believe that having a visually appealing assessment for your students to complete is essential.  Bright colors and organized designs make a significant difference in my student’s scores.  When I provide my students with something stimulating to the eye, and they see how much effort I’ve put into it, they work harder as well.  The same goes with excellent student or teacher examples.  If you show pictures or concrete examples of your expectations, your students will mimic them.
So, let’s talk about this interactive notebook.  How is it different from other interactive notebooks? The first answer that comes to mind is that it is designed for OLDER students, grades 7-12.  The questions are all based off the Common Core State Standards (info text 7-12) and Bloom’s Taxonomy– making the questions not only engaging, but also challenging.



The interactive piece helps students stay organized as well as break down tasks into smaller steps.  In the image above, you can see that students will first demonstrate the annotation markings by providing an example beneath the flaps on the left and then practice the markings on The Gettysburg Address on the right.  Because this is one of the first lessons in the notebook, students can go back and reference the markings for the other informational text pieces they read.



Another positive component of this interactive notebook is the fact that ANY informational text piece can be used for the different lessons.  For example, I teach American Literature, so my non-fiction texts are all related to AL in some way.  In the picture above, I used Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech; however, any text would work because all texts have vocabulary terms with connotative and denotative meanings.  Right?! 🙂



The interactive lessons go beyond just text.  Students will analyze graphs, news broadcasts, Public Service Announcements (PSA) and more.  Analyzing and evaluating images and graphs will help students develop the critical thinking skills needed to think outside the box and come to conclusions based on concrete evidence and observations.



Lastly, the lessons incorporated throughout the interactive notebook are beneficial for not only analyzing informational text, but also writing and responding to any piece of literature.  The lesson above focuses on sandwiching quotes and citing textual evidence as opposed to simply throwing in a random quote without an explanation (which, let’s be honest, we all know happens)!  Developing this skill will help them in all aspects of an ELA course.



Thank you so much for reading about this interactive notebook!  I truly hope this helps you meet your content standards and helps your students grow.  I’m looking forward to posting more blog posts (hopefully I won’t take a three year break in between this time! hehe)

Best wishes,


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Welcome! My name is Brittany Jeltema, also known as The SuperHERO Teacher, and I am a curriculum designer and classroom flipper. I have a strong passion for helping teachers reach as many students as possible through creativity, engagement, and empowerment!

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