As we continued our unit on Native Americans, the topic of the Eastern Woodland Indians is always interesting to 5th graders. I needed to have a way for the students to take notes to learn about the longhouse. I found the first illustration, the interior of a longhouse and enlarged it to fit on a standard size copy paper. I can not take credit for the art work.
This is the base page for the longhouse.
The top sheet or outside of the longhouse was cut out and glued onto to base page.
My students were encouraged to color their longhouse to enhance the appearance. This also makes them spend more time, thus more learning about the topic.
We identified the fire (#1), corn drying (#2), smoke hole in the roof (#3), etc., labeled and highlighted the number on the base sheet as a class. The on the lines below the picture we wrote "fire in the center of the longhouse". The children were then asked to add two more pieces of information to their sheet on their own.
The next step was to "talk to your neighbor" and share your information. Now the kids could show their neighbor what they had found and then added it to their list. Finally, we shared the information with the entire class.
I really like to use the "" talk to your neighbor" technique with my 5th graders. Then when I call on a student, they have some information to tell the class instead of saying, "I don't know." It takes the pressure off of children that aren't sure of their abilities and makes them more confident.
Interactive note taking has been very successful with my fifth graders. I hope you will be able to give it a try. Please send me a note if you get the chance. I'd love to hear how lit works in other classes.