Lesson One--Note-taking from APUSH Writing and Skills Handbook

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This is Lesson One, which covers note-taking skills, of the AP US History Writing and Skills Handbook. The lesson can be used in-class with students to model note-taking, and can also serve as a resource throughout the year to assist students in taking good notes. It will download as a PDF file.

Sub-sections of the lesson include:
*Why we need to take notes—educational rationales for note-taking explained in student-friendly terms
*Some note-taking styles—pros and cons of outline-, Cornell-, or bullet-style notes
*Example notes—full-page annotated samples of notes in the three major styles covering the same section of text
*Note-taking elements—list of essentials to include in any style of note-taking
*What to write down—how to determine what is important and what is not
*Note-taking technique checklist—serves as a quick reference for students who are learning to take meaningful notes

Content coverage in the lesson is from Period 1—1491-1607.

The APUSH Writing and Skills Handbook is designed to teach students in AP US History classes to use historical thinking skills to tackle primary and secondary sources, stimulus-style multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, Document-Based Question essays (DBQs), and Long Essays (aka LEQs). It is fully aligned to the revised, 2014-15 versions of the College Board’s AP US History Curriculum Framework and the nine historical thinking skills.

The handbook uses techniques from the MOD Writing System, a modular, modeled approach to writing.

Modular: each lesson teaches students to evaluate and then execute discrete parts of historical essays or skills. Once students have mastered the elements, later lessons show them how to combine the elements to create a full essay.

Modeled: in order to produce good historical writing, students must first read good historical writing! Each lesson includes numerous good examples of the elements of historical essays, plus numerous full-length sample essays and paragraphs.

Please see the free teacher materials available here for more information about the program.

Purchase of the lesson includes permission to copy a class set (up to 35). Instructional text is copyright 2014-2016 by Carrie Floyd Cagle. All non-original text in the lesson includes citation information. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International License.

Other lessons from the AP US History Writing and Skills Handbook include:
Lesson Two: Specificity, Detail, and SAQs
Lesson Three: Preparing for a Unit Test
Lesson Four: Introduction to DBQs
Lesson Five: Analyzing Documents and Prewriting a DBQ
Lesson Six: Thesis and Contextualization Paragraphs (offered as a free sample)
Lesson Seven: Basic DBQ Body Paragraphs
Lesson Eight: Writing a Full-length DBQ
Total Pages
9
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
1 hour

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Lesson One--Note-taking from APUSH Writing and Skills Handbook
Lesson One--Note-taking from APUSH Writing and Skills Handbook
Lesson One--Note-taking from APUSH Writing and Skills Handbook
Lesson One--Note-taking from APUSH Writing and Skills Handbook