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Lesson Plan

Note Writing in the Primary Classroom

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Note Writing in the Primary Classroom

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: 30 minutes; thereafter: 15-30 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Jenifer Katahira

Seattle, Washington


National Council of Teachers of English



From Theory to Practice



This lesson includes a variety of activities related to note writing that can be incorporated into the classroom throughout the year to promote authentic writing among students. Model note writing in context by taking advantage of opportunities that come up in the classroom both to read actual notes and to think aloud while writing them. Read books featuring notes, discuss why the notes were written, and copy the notes for classroom display. Enlist families in the fun by asking students to collect notes from home to share with the class. Create a classroom message board and add good news to it throughout the day. Have students sort the notes you have gathered based on audience, purpose, and format. Write notes to your students and encourage them to write notes, too. Finally, explain to students when you take notes for assessment purposes, and share those notes with students during conferences.

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Literacy instruction for young readers and writers works best when students are given many opportunities to participate in reading and writing for real purposes. According to Shelly Hudson Bowden, "Children learn literacy when immersed in classroom environments that support natural literacy experiences throughout the day. Routman (1999) describes these types of activities as authentic learning because students use the tools of the discipline (language arts) and apply them to real-life situations."

Regie Routman states: "Young writers need time and opportunity to use their developing skills in functional, realistic, non-artificial ways. When we encourage children to write purposefully each day, using their developmental spelling, we are providing them with one of the most powerful approaches for learning phonics."

This lesson offers activities to immerse students in authentic reading and writing experiences throughout the day, using note writing as an inspiration.

Further Reading

Routman, Regie. 2000. Conversations: Strategies for Teaching, Learning, and Evaluating. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Bowden, Shelly Hudson. "Literacy All the Livelong Day: A Picture Portfolio of Kindergarten Teaching and Learning." Language Arts 82.4 (March 2005): 278-285.

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