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The following samples are from Tools for Thought: Helping All
Students Read, Write, Speak, and Think by Jim Burke.
© 2002 by Jim Burke.
All rights reserved. No part of this material from Tools for Thought: Helping All
Students Read, Write, Speak, and Think may be reproduced in any form or by
electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval
systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer,
who may quote brief passages in a review.

Heinemann, 361 Hanover Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801-3912, USA
Phone: 800.225.5800
Fax: 603.431.2214
URL: http://www.heinemann.com

file://C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\nguay\Desktop\projects\documents\templates\sample%20chapt... 10/29/2002
Reproducible Tools for Classroom Use

Continuum Creator 135 Pyramid Notes 158
Bookmark: Character Card 136 Cornell Notes 159
Bookmark: Core Skills 137 Q Notes 160
Bookmark: Reading: Think About It! 138 Reporter’s Notes 161
Bookmark: Literature Circle Roles 140 Sensory Notes 162
Conversational Roundtable 142 Spreadsheet Notes (Three-Column) 163
Decision Tree 143 Spreadsheet Notes (Four-Column) 164
Episodic Notes (Three-Square) 144 Spreadsheet Notes (Multicolumn) 165
Episodic Notes (Six-Square) 145 Character Directory 166
Idea Cards 146 Story Notes 167
Interactive Notes 147 Plot Notes 168
Linear Array 148 Summary Notes 169
Literature Circle Notes: Overview of the Roles 149 Summary Sheet 170
Literature Circle Notes: Discussion Director 150 Synthesis Notes 171
Literature Circle Notes: Illuminator 151 T Notes 172
Literature Circle Notes: Illustrator 152 Target Notes 173
Literature Circle Notes: Connector 153 Think in Threes 174
Literature Circle Notes: Word Watcher 154 Time Line Notes 175
Literature Circle Notes: Summarizer 155 Venn Diagram (Two-Domain) 176
Outline Notes 156 Venn Diagram (Three-Domain) 177
Speech Outline Notes 157 Vocabulary Squares 178
Continuum Creator

Name Date
Assignment Period

Suggestions for Use: Looking at data or ideas along a continuum helps us understand the qualities of that information. For example,
some foods are “tasty” but not “delicious”; some teams are “great” but not “excellent.” A continuum allows us to identify different
categories or degrees. A Continuum of Importance, for example, shows us what is “irrelevant” and what is “essential.” If we can
determine what is “important,” we know what to look for when we are writing, reading, or taking notes.

Continuum of

Before
1. Title your continuum to establish what you are trying to analyze. Examples: Continuum of Importance, Continuum of Performance,
Continuum of Understanding, Continuum of Quality, Continuum of Probability, or Continuum of Attitude.
2. Decide what questions you should ask to help you determine:
• The categories, or what should go in the boxes (e.g., High, Medium, Low)
• The criteria for what should go in each section (e.g., To determine if something is “irrelevant,” I will ask the question, “If you
took this out of the story, would anything change?”)
• The purpose/focus of this continuum. Example: This continuum answers the question “How can I tell what is important when
reading a newspaper article? When studying for a test? When taking notes during a lecture?”
3. Determine the traits of each point along the continuum.
• Example: A score of 6 on the Continuum of Understanding means you understand the surface details (e.g., what it is) but not its
meaning or importance. A 10 on the Continuum of Performance means you did it all and did it to the highest standard.
During
1. As you read, write, listen, or watch, look for items appropriate for your continuum. For example, while reading
about the history of Greece in your history textbook, determine if the information about who began the Trojan War is “important”
according to your continuum. The same continuum would help you determine that it is not very important to know what the soldiers
ate for dinner during the war; thus you should not include that in your notes.
2. Evaluate and revise your criteria as needed. If you realize that the criteria for importance are not useful, change them. For example,
if your current criteria suggest that what the soldiers in the Trojan War ate is important, change them. This will help you take better
notes, listen more effectively, and read with greater success.
After
Use your continuum to prepare to write an essay or study for a test. It might even be a good idea to create a new continuum that helps
you determine the likelihood of something being on the test: No chance/Possible/Probable/Inevitable or 0/25/50/75/100%.

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 135
Character Card Character Card Character Card Character Card
136
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);

Useful Literary Terms Useful Literary Terms Useful Literary Terms Useful Literary Terms
• allusion • motif • allusion • motif • allusion • motif • allusion • motif
• analogy • narrator • analogy • narrator • analogy • narrator • analogy • narrator
• antagonist • persona • antagonist • persona • antagonist • persona • antagonist • persona
• character • plot • character • plot • character • plot • character • plot
• conflict • point of view • conflict • point of view • conflict • point of view • conflict • point of view
• convention(s) • protagonist • convention(s) • protagonist • convention(s) • protagonist • convention(s) • protagonist
• diction • setting • diction • setting • diction • setting • diction • setting
• exposition • theme(s) • exposition • theme(s) • exposition • theme(s) • exposition • theme(s)
© 2002.

• imagery • tone • imagery • tone • imagery • tone • imagery • tone
• irony • voice • irony • voice • irony • voice • irony • voice
Core Skills Core Skills Core Skills Core Skills
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);

ASK QUESTIONS ASK QUESTIONS ASK QUESTIONS ASK QUESTIONS
• Who is involved? • Who is involved? • Who is involved? • Who is involved?
• What are they doing? (Why?) • What are they doing? (Why?) • What are they doing? (Why?) • What are they doing? (Why?)
• What do they want very badly? (Why?) • What do they want very badly? (Why?) • What do they want very badly? (Why?) • What do they want very badly? (Why?)
• What is the situation or problem? • What is the situation or problem? • What is the situation or problem? • What is the situation or problem?
• Who is telling the story? (Why?) • Who is telling the story? (Why?) • Who is telling the story? (Why?) • Who is telling the story? (Why?)
• How is the story designed? (Why?) • How is the story designed? (Why?) • How is the story designed? (Why?) • How is the story designed? (Why?)
• What is the source of tension? • What is the source of tension? • What is the source of tension? • What is the source of tension?
• Can you trust the narrator? • Can you trust the narrator? • Can you trust the narrator? • Can you trust the narrator?
MAKE CONNECTIONS MAKE CONNECTIONS MAKE CONNECTIONS MAKE CONNECTIONS
• I wonder why . . . • I wonder why . . . • I wonder why . . . • I wonder why . . .
• What caused . . . • What caused . . . • What caused . . . • What caused . . .
• I think . . . • I think . . . • I think . . . • I think . . .
• This is similar to . . . • This is similar to . . . • This is similar to . . . • This is similar to . . .
• This is important because . . . • This is important because . . . • This is important because . . . • This is important because . . .
• This reminds me of . . . • This reminds me of . . . • This reminds me of . . . • This reminds me of . . .
• What I find confusing is . . . • What I find confusing is . . . • What I find confusing is . . . • What I find confusing is . . .
• What will happen next is . . . • What will happen next is . . . • What will happen next is . . . • What will happen next is . . .
• I can relate to this because . . . • I can relate to this because . . . • I can relate to this because . . . • I can relate to this because . . .
PREDICT PREDICT PREDICT PREDICT
• What will happen next? • What will happen next? • What will happen next? • What will happen next?
• Why do you think that? • Why do you think that? • Why do you think that? • Why do you think that?
• What effect will that have on the story • What effect will that have on the story • What effect will that have on the story • What effect will that have on the story
or the characters? or the characters? or the characters? or the characters?
SUMMARIZE SUMMARIZE SUMMARIZE SUMMARIZE
• What happened? • What happened? • What happened? • What happened?
• What is essential to tell? • What is essential to tell? • What is essential to tell? • What is essential to tell?
• What was the outcome? • What was the outcome? • What was the outcome? • What was the outcome?
© 2002.

• Who was involved? • Who was involved? • Who was involved? • Who was involved?
• Why did this happen? • Why did this happen? • Why did this happen? • Why did this happen?
• Is that a detail or essential information? • Is that a detail or essential information? • Is that a detail or essential information? • Is that a detail or essential information?
STANDARDS/TEST CONNECTION STANDARDS/TEST CONNECTION STANDARDS/TEST CONNECTION STANDARDS/TEST CONNECTION
• The best word to describe the tone is . . . • The best word to describe the tone is . . . • The best word to describe the tone is . . . • The best word to describe the tone is . . .
• What device does the author use to . . . • What device does the author use to . . . • What device does the author use to . . . • What device does the author use to . . .
• The writer organizes information: se- • The writer organizes information: se- • The writer organizes information: se- • The writer organizes information: se-
quentially, spatially, comparatively . . . quentially, spatially, comparatively . . . quentially, spatially, comparatively . . . quentially, spatially, comparatively . . .
• The main character feels/thinks . . . • The main character feels/thinks . . . • The main character feels/thinks . . . • The main character feels/thinks . . .
SYNTHESIZE SYNTHESIZE SYNTHESIZE SYNTHESIZE
• Three important points/ideas are . . . • Three important points/ideas are . . . • Three important points/ideas are . . . • Three important points/ideas are . . .
• These are important because . . . • These are important because . . . • These are important because . . . • These are important because . . .
• What comes next . . . • What comes next . . . • What comes next . . . • What comes next . . .
• The author wants us to think . . . • The author wants us to think . . . • The author wants us to think . . . • The author wants us to think . . .
• At this point the article/story is about . . . • At this point the article/story is about . . . • At this point the article/story is about . . . • At this point the article/story is about . . .
• I still don’t understand . . . • I still don’t understand . . . • I still don’t understand . . . • I still don’t understand . . .
• What interested me most was . . . • What interested me most was . . . • What interested me most was . . . • What interested me most was . . .
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• This means that . . . • This means that . . . • This means that . . . • This means that . . .
Reading: Think About It! Reading: Think About It! Reading: Think About It! Reading: Think About It!
138

When reading remember to: When reading remember to: When reading remember to: When reading remember to:
■ Ask questions of the text, yourself, and ■ Ask questions of the text, yourself, and ■ Ask questions of the text, yourself, and ■ Ask questions of the text, yourself, and
the author the author the author the author
■ Make connections to yourself, other ■ Make connections to yourself, other ■ Make connections to yourself, other ■ Make connections to yourself, other
texts, the world texts, the world texts, the world texts, the world
■ Use different strategies to achieve and ■ Use different strategies to achieve and ■ Use different strategies to achieve and ■ Use different strategies to achieve and
maintain focus while reading maintain focus while reading maintain focus while reading maintain focus while reading
■ Determine ahead of time why you are ■ Determine ahead of time why you are ■ Determine ahead of time why you are ■ Determine ahead of time why you are
reading this text and how it should be reading this text and how it should be reading this text and how it should be reading this text and how it should be
read read read read
■ Adjust your strategies as you read to ■ Adjust your strategies as you read to ■ Adjust your strategies as you read to ■ Adjust your strategies as you read to
help you understand and enjoy what you help you understand and enjoy what you help you understand and enjoy what you help you understand and enjoy what you
read read read read

Evaluating how well you read Evaluating how well you read Evaluating how well you read Evaluating how well you read
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);

Evaluate and decide which of the following Evaluate and decide which of the following Evaluate and decide which of the following Evaluate and decide which of the following
best describes your reading performance best describes your reading performance best describes your reading performance best describes your reading performance
today. Explain why you gave yourself the today. Explain why you gave yourself the today. Explain why you gave yourself the today. Explain why you gave yourself the
score, also. score, also. score, also. score, also.
My reading was: My reading was: My reading was: My reading was:
1. Excellent because I 1. Excellent because I 1. Excellent because I 1. Excellent because I
■ read the full 20 minutes ■ read the full 20 minutes ■ read the full 20 minutes ■ read the full 20 minutes
■ read actively (e.g., used different ■ read actively (e.g., used different ■ read actively (e.g., used different ■ read actively (e.g., used different
strategies and techniques) strategies and techniques) strategies and techniques) strategies and techniques)
■ understood what I read ■ understood what I read ■ understood what I read ■ understood what I read
2. Successful because I 2. Successful because I 2. Successful because I 2. Successful because I
■ read almost the entire 20 minutes ■ read almost the entire 20 minutes ■ read almost the entire 20 minutes ■ read almost the entire 20 minutes
■ tried to use some strategies that ■ tried to use some strategies that ■ tried to use some strategies that ■ tried to use some strategies that
mostly helped me read better mostly helped me read better mostly helped me read better mostly helped me read better
■ understood most of what I read ■ understood most of what I read ■ understood most of what I read ■ understood most of what I read
3. Inconsistent because I 3. Inconsistent because I 3. Inconsistent because I 3. Inconsistent because I
■ read only about half the time ■ read only about half the time ■ read only about half the time ■ read only about half the time
■ used some strategies but they didn’t ■ used some strategies but they didn’t ■ used some strategies but they didn’t ■ used some strategies but they didn’t
help me much help me much help me much help me much
■ understood some of what I read ■ understood some of what I read ■ understood some of what I read ■ understood some of what I read
4. Unsuccessful because I 4. Unsuccessful because I 4. Unsuccessful because I 4. Unsuccessful because I
■ read little or nothing ■ read little or nothing ■ read little or nothing ■ read little or nothing
■ did not read actively ■ did not read actively ■ did not read actively ■ did not read actively
■ did not understand what I read ■ did not understand what I read ■ did not understand what I read ■ did not understand what I read
■ I didn’t understand because . . . ■ I didn’t understand because . . . ■ I didn’t understand because . . . ■ I didn’t understand because . . .

D eve l o p y o u r o w n q u e s t i o n s D eve l o p y o u r o w n q u e s t i o n s D eve l o p y o u r o w n q u e s t i o n s D eve l o p y o u r o w n q u e s t i o n s
Develop your own question(s) or prompt(s) Develop your own question(s) or prompt(s) Develop your own question(s) or prompt(s) Develop your own question(s) or prompt(s)
that you find helpful when thinking about how that you find helpful when thinking about how that you find helpful when thinking about how that you find helpful when thinking about how
or what you read: or what you read: or what you read: or what you read:
■ ■ ■ ■
© 2002.

■ ■ ■ ■
Reading: Think About It! Reading: Think About It! Reading: Think About It! Reading: Think About It!
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);

Thinking about how you read Thinking about how you read Thinking about how you read Thinking about how you read
■ I was distracted by . . . ■ I was distracted by . . . ■ I was distracted by . . . ■ I was distracted by . . .
■ I started to think about . . . ■ I started to think about . . . ■ I started to think about . . . ■ I started to think about . . .
■ I got stuck when . . . ■ I got stuck when . . . ■ I got stuck when . . . ■ I got stuck when . . .
■ I was confused/focused today ■ I was confused/focused today ■ I was confused/focused today ■ I was confused/focused today
because . . . because . . . because . . . because . . .
■ One strategy I used to help me read this ■ One strategy I used to help me read this ■ One strategy I used to help me read this ■ One strategy I used to help me read this
better was . . . better was . . . better was . . . better was . . .
■ When I got distracted I tried to refocus ■ When I got distracted I tried to refocus ■ When I got distracted I tried to refocus ■ When I got distracted I tried to refocus
myself by . . . myself by . . . myself by . . . myself by . . .
■ These word(s) or phrases were new/ ■ These word(s) or phrases were new/ ■ These word(s) or phrases were new/ ■ These word(s) or phrases were new/
interesting to me . . . I think they interesting to me . . . I think they interesting to me . . . I think they interesting to me . . . I think they
mean . . . mean . . . mean . . . mean . . .
■ When reading I should . . . ■ When reading I should . . . ■ When reading I should . . . ■ When reading I should . . .
■ When I read today I realized that . . . ■ When I read today I realized that . . . ■ When I read today I realized that . . . ■ When I read today I realized that . . .
■ I had a hard time understanding . . . ■ I had a hard time understanding . . . ■ I had a hard time understanding . . . ■ I had a hard time understanding . . .
■ I’ll read better next time if I . . . ■ I’ll read better next time if I . . . ■ I’ll read better next time if I . . . ■ I’ll read better next time if I . . .

Thinking about what you read Thinking about what you read Thinking about what you read Thinking about what you read
■ Why does the character/author . . . ■ Why does the character/author . . . ■ Why does the character/author . . . ■ Why does the character/author . . .
■ Why doesn’t the character/author . . . ■ Why doesn’t the character/author . . . ■ Why doesn’t the character/author . . . ■ Why doesn’t the character/author . . .
■ What surprised me most was . . . ■ What surprised me most was . . . ■ What surprised me most was . . . ■ What surprised me most was . . .
■ I predict that . . . ■ I predict that . . . ■ I predict that . . . ■ I predict that . . .
■ This author’s writing style is . . . ■ This author’s writing style is . . . ■ This author’s writing style is . . . ■ This author’s writing style is . . .
■ I noted that the author uses . . . ■ I noted that the author uses . . . ■ I noted that the author uses . . . ■ I noted that the author uses . . .
■ The main character wants/is . . . ■ The main character wants/is . . . ■ The main character wants/is . . . ■ The main character wants/is . . .
■ If I could, I’d ask the author/character . . . ■ If I could, I’d ask the author/character . . . ■ If I could, I’d ask the author/character . . . ■ If I could, I’d ask the author/character . . .
© 2002.

■ The most interesting event/idea in this ■ The most interesting event/idea in this ■ The most interesting event/idea in this ■ The most interesting event/idea in this
book is . . . book is . . . book is . . . book is . . .
■ I realized . . . ■ I realized . . . ■ I realized . . . ■ I realized . . .
■ The main conflict/idea in this book is . . . ■ The main conflict/idea in this book is . . . ■ The main conflict/idea in this book is . . . ■ The main conflict/idea in this book is . . .
■ I wonder why . . . ■ I wonder why . . . ■ I wonder why . . . ■ I wonder why . . .
■ One theme that keeps coming up is . . . ■ One theme that keeps coming up is . . . ■ One theme that keeps coming up is . . . ■ One theme that keeps coming up is . . .
■ I found the following quote interesting . . . ■ I found the following quote interesting . . . ■ I found the following quote interesting . . . ■ I found the following quote interesting . . .
■ I ________________ this book because . . . ■ I ________________ this book because . . . ■ I ________________ this book because . . . ■ I ________________ this book because . . .

Elaborating on what you think Elaborating on what you think Elaborating on what you think Elaborating on what you think
■ I think ________________ because . . . ■ I think ________________ because . . . ■ I think ________________ because . . . ■ I think ________________ because . . .
■ A good example of ________________ is . . . ■ A good example of ________________ is . . . ■ A good example of ________________ is . . . ■ A good example of ________________ is . . .
■ This remined me of ________________ ■ This remined me of ________________ ■ This remined me of ________________ ■ This remined me of ________________
because . . . because . . . because . . . because . . .
■ This was important because . . . ■ This was important because . . . ■ This was important because . . . ■ This was important because . . .
■ One thing that suprised me was ________ ■ One thing that suprised me was ________ ■ One thing that suprised me was ________ ■ One thing that suprised me was ________
because I always thought . . . because I always thought . . . because I always thought . . . because I always thought . . .
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■ The author is saying that . . . ■ The author is saying that . . . ■ The author is saying that . . . ■ The author is saying that . . .
Literature Circle Roles Literature Circle Roles Literature Circle Roles Literature Circle Roles
140

Discussion Director: Your role demands that you Discussion Director: Your role demands that you Discussion Director: Your role demands that you Discussion Director: Your role demands that you
identify the important aspects of your assigned identify the important aspects of your assigned identify the important aspects of your assigned identify the important aspects of your assigned
text and develop questions your group will want text and develop questions your group will want text and develop questions your group will want text and develop questions your group will want
to discuss. Focus on the major themes or “big to discuss. Focus on the major themes or “big to discuss. Focus on the major themes or “big to discuss. Focus on the major themes or “big
ideas” in the text and your reaction to those ideas” in the text and your reaction to those ideas” in the text and your reaction to those ideas” in the text and your reaction to those
ideas. What interests you will most likely ideas. What interests you will most likely ideas. What interests you will most likely ideas. What interests you will most likely
interest those in your group. You are also interest those in your group. You are also interest those in your group. You are also interest those in your group. You are also
responsible for facilitating your group’s responsible for facilitating your group’s responsible for facilitating your group’s responsible for facilitating your group’s
discussion. discussion. discussion. discussion.

Illuminator: You find passages your group would Illuminator: You find passages your group would Illuminator: You find passages your group would Illuminator: You find passages your group would
like to/should hear read aloud. These passages like to/should hear read aloud. These passages like to/should hear read aloud. These passages like to/should hear read aloud. These passages
should be memorable, interesting, puzzling, should be memorable, interesting, puzzling, should be memorable, interesting, puzzling, should be memorable, interesting, puzzling,
funny, or important. Your notes should include funny, or important. Your notes should include funny, or important. Your notes should include funny, or important. Your notes should include
the quotations but also why you chose them the quotations but also why you chose them the quotations but also why you chose them the quotations but also why you chose them
and what you want to say about them. You can and what you want to say about them. You can and what you want to say about them. You can and what you want to say about them. You can
either read the passage aloud yourself or ask either read the passage aloud yourself or ask either read the passage aloud yourself or ask either read the passage aloud yourself or ask
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);

members of your group to read roles. members of your group to read roles. members of your group to read roles. members of your group to read roles.

Illustrator: Your role is to draw what you read. Illustrator: Your role is to draw what you read. Illustrator: Your role is to draw what you read. Illustrator: Your role is to draw what you read.
This might mean drawing a scene as a This might mean drawing a scene as a This might mean drawing a scene as a This might mean drawing a scene as a
cartoonlike sequence or an important scene so cartoonlike sequence or an important scene so cartoonlike sequence or an important scene so cartoonlike sequence or an important scene so
readers can better understand the action. You readers can better understand the action. You readers can better understand the action. You readers can better understand the action. You
can draw maps or organizational trees to show can draw maps or organizational trees to show can draw maps or organizational trees to show can draw maps or organizational trees to show
how one person, place, or event related to the how one person, place, or event related to the how one person, place, or event related to the how one person, place, or event related to the
others. Explain how your drawing relates to the others. Explain how your drawing relates to the others. Explain how your drawing relates to the others. Explain how your drawing relates to the
text. Label your drawings so we know who the text. Label your drawings so we know who the text. Label your drawings so we know who the text. Label your drawings so we know who the
characters are. Make your drawing on a characters are. Make your drawing on a characters are. Make your drawing on a characters are. Make your drawing on a
separate sheet of paper. separate sheet of paper. separate sheet of paper. separate sheet of paper.

Connector: Your job is to connect what you are Connector: Your job is to connect what you are Connector: Your job is to connect what you are Connector: Your job is to connect what you are
reading with what you are studying or with the reading with what you are studying or with the reading with what you are studying or with the reading with what you are studying or with the
world outside of school. You can connect the world outside of school. You can connect the world outside of school. You can connect the world outside of school. You can connect the
story to events in your own life, news events, story to events in your own life, news events, story to events in your own life, news events, story to events in your own life, news events,
political events, or popular trends. Another political events, or popular trends. Another political events, or popular trends. Another political events, or popular trends. Another
important source of connections is books you’ve important source of connections is books you’ve important source of connections is books you’ve important source of connections is books you’ve
already read. The connections should be already read. The connections should be already read. The connections should be already read. The connections should be
meaningful to you and those in your group. meaningful to you and those in your group. meaningful to you and those in your group. meaningful to you and those in your group.

Word Watcher: While reading the assigned Word Watcher: While reading the assigned Word Watcher: While reading the assigned Word Watcher: While reading the assigned
section, you watch out for words worth knowing. section, you watch out for words worth knowing. section, you watch out for words worth knowing. section, you watch out for words worth knowing.
These words might be interesting, new, These words might be interesting, new, These words might be interesting, new, These words might be interesting, new,
important, or used in unusual ways. It is important, or used in unusual ways. It is important, or used in unusual ways. It is important, or used in unusual ways. It is
important to indicate the specific location of the important to indicate the specific location of the important to indicate the specific location of the important to indicate the specific location of the
words so the group can discuss these words in words so the group can discuss these words in words so the group can discuss these words in words so the group can discuss these words in
context. context. context. context.

Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the
day’s reading. In some cases, you might ask day’s reading. In some cases, you might ask day’s reading. In some cases, you might ask day’s reading. In some cases, you might ask
yourself what details, characters, or events are yourself what details, characters, or events are yourself what details, characters, or events are yourself what details, characters, or events are
so important that they would be included on an so important that they would be included on an so important that they would be included on an so important that they would be included on an
© 2002.

exam. If it helps you to organize the information, exam. If it helps you to organize the information, exam. If it helps you to organize the information, exam. If it helps you to organize the information,
consider making a numbered listed or a time consider making a numbered listed or a time consider making a numbered listed or a time consider making a numbered listed or a time
line. line. line. line.
Literature Circle Roles Literature Circle Roles Literature Circle Roles Literature Circle Roles
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);

Dicussion Director/Illuminator Questions Dicussion Director/Illuminator Questions Dicussion Director/Illuminator Questions Dicussion Director/Illuminator Questions
• What were you thinking about as you read? • What were you thinking about as you read? • What were you thinking about as you read? • What were you thinking about as you read?
• What did the text make you think about? • What did the text make you think about? • What did the text make you think about? • What did the text make you think about?
• What do you think this text/passage was • What do you think this text/passage was • What do you think this text/passage was • What do you think this text/passage was
about? about? about? about?
• How might others think about this text/passage? • How might others think about this text/passage? • How might others think about this text/passage? • How might others think about this text/passage?
• What would you ask the writer if you could? • What would you ask the writer if you could? • What would you ask the writer if you could? • What would you ask the writer if you could?
• What are the most important ideas/moments? • What are the most important ideas/moments? • What are the most important ideas/moments? • What are the most important ideas/moments?
• What do you think will happen next—and why? • What do you think will happen next—and why? • What do you think will happen next—and why? • What do you think will happen next—and why?
• What was the most important change in this • What was the most important change in this • What was the most important change in this • What was the most important change in this
section? section? section? section?
Illustrator Questions Illustrator Questions Illustrator Questions Illustrator Questions
• Ask your group, “What does this picture • Ask your group, “What does this picture • Ask your group, “What does this picture • Ask your group, “What does this picture
mean?” mean?” mean?” mean?”
• Why did you choose this scene to illustrate? • Why did you choose this scene to illustrate? • Why did you choose this scene to illustrate? • Why did you choose this scene to illustrate?
• How does this drawing relate to the story? • How does this drawing relate to the story? • How does this drawing relate to the story? • How does this drawing relate to the story?
• Why did you choose to draw it the way you did? • Why did you choose to draw it the way you did? • Why did you choose to draw it the way you did? • Why did you choose to draw it the way you did?
• Who and/or what is in this picture? • Who and/or what is in this picture? • Who and/or what is in this picture? • Who and/or what is in this picture?
• What did drawing it help you see? • What did drawing it help you see? • What did drawing it help you see? • What did drawing it help you see?
• What did this passage make you think about? • What did this passage make you think about? • What did this passage make you think about? • What did this passage make you think about?
• What are you trying to accomplish in this • What are you trying to accomplish in this • What are you trying to accomplish in this • What are you trying to accomplish in this
drawing? drawing? drawing? drawing?
Connector Questions Connector Questions Connector Questions Connector Questions
• What connections can you make to your own • What connections can you make to your own • What connections can you make to your own • What connections can you make to your own
life? life? life? life?
• What/who else could you compare this story to? • What/who else could you compare this story to? • What/who else could you compare this story to? • What/who else could you compare this story to?
• What other books might you compare to this • What other books might you compare to this • What other books might you compare to this • What other books might you compare to this
one? one? one? one?
• What other characters or authors come to mind? • What other characters or authors come to mind? • What other characters or authors come to mind? • What other characters or authors come to mind?
• What’s the most interesting or important con- • What’s the most interesting or important con- • What’s the most interesting or important con- • What’s the most interesting or important con-
nection? nection? nection? nection?
• How does this section relate to the ones be- • How does this section relate to the ones • How does this section relate to the ones • How does this section relate to the ones
© 2002.

fore it? before it? before it? before it?
Word Watcher Questions Word Watcher Questions Word Watcher Questions Word Watcher Questions
• Which words are used frequently? • Which words are used frequently? • Which words are used frequently? • Which words are used frequently?
• Which words are used in unusual ways? • Which words are used in unusual ways? • Which words are used in unusual ways? • Which words are used in unusual ways?
• What words seem to have special meaning? • What words seem to have special meaning? • What words seem to have special meaning? • What words seem to have special meaning?
• What new words did you find in this section? • What new words did you find in this section? • What new words did you find in this section? • What new words did you find in this section?
• What part of speech is this word? • What part of speech is this word? • What part of speech is this word? • What part of speech is this word?
• What is the connotative meaning of this word? • What is the connotative meaning of this word? • What is the connotative meaning of this word? • What is the connotative meaning of this word?
• What is the denotative meaning of this word? • What is the denotative meaning of this word? • What is the denotative meaning of this word? • What is the denotative meaning of this word?
Summarizer Questions Summarizer Questions Summarizer Questions Summarizer Questions
• What are the most important events in the • What are the most important events in the • What are the most important events in the • What are the most important events in the
section? section? section? section?
• What makes them so important? • What makes them so important? • What makes them so important? • What makes them so important?
• How do these events affect the plot of char- • How do these events affect the plot of char- • How do these events affect the plot of char- • How do these events affect the plot of char-
acters? acters? acters? acters?
• What changes did you notice when you read? • What changes did you notice when you read? • What changes did you notice when you read? • What changes did you notice when you read?
• What questions about this might appear on • What questions about this might appear on • What questions about this might appear on • What questions about this might appear on
an exam? an exam? an exam? an exam?
• What might be a good essay topic for this • What might be a good essay topic for this • What might be a good essay topic for this • What might be a good essay topic for this
141

section? section? section? section?
Conversational Roundtable

Name Date
Topic Period

Suggestions for Use: Ask yourself what the focus of your paper, discussion, or inquiry is. Is it a character, a theme, an idea, a country,
a trend, or a place? Then examine it from four different perspectives, or identify four different aspects of the topic. Once you have
identified the four areas, find and list any appropriate quotations, examples, evidence, or details.

142 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Decision Tree

Name Date
Topic Period
Suggestions for Use: Use this Decision Tree diagram to examine the possible outcomes of different decisions. You might consider the
different consequences of a character’s possible choices, or you might consider how it would change the story to tell it from different
points of view. In Health, History, or Business, you might consider the ramifications of different choices. Provide arguments for and
against each decision.

Outcome 5 Outcome 4 Outcome 3 Outcome 2 Outcome 1

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 143
Episodic Notes (Three-Square)

Name Date
Topic Period
Purpose: Identify most important moments; show cause-effect and organization (sequence).
1. Determine the three most crucial stages, scenes, or moments in the story or process.
2. Draw in the box what happens and what you “see” in the text. Be as specific as possible.
3. Remember, these are notes, not works of art: try to capture the action and important details of the moment.
4. Explain (in the notes section) what is happening and why it is important.

Caption

Caption

Caption

144 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Episodic Notes (Six-Square)

Name Date
Topic Period
Purpose: Identify most important moments; show cause-effect and organization (sequence).
1. Determine the most crucial stages, scenes, or moments in the story or process.
2. Draw in the box what happens and what you “see” in the text. Be as specific as possible.
3. Remember, these are notes, not works of art: try to capture the action and important details of the moment.
4. Explain (in the notes section) what is happening and why it is important.

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 145
146

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Name

Idea Cards
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Date
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© 2002.
Interactive Notes

Name Date
Topic Period
Directions: Use Interactive Notes to help you read informational or literary texts. Interactive Notes guide you through a reading process
to help you develop your ideas and express them in academic language. You may put questions, comments, connections, or favorite
lines in any column; then use the prompts (or create your own) to help you write.

BEFORE DURING AFTER
Prepare to Read Question and Comment Summarize and Synthesize
• List: √ title(s) • I wonder why . . . • Three important points/ideas are . . .
√ headings • What caused . . . • These are important because . . .
√ captions • I think . . . • What comes next . . .
√ objectives • This is similar to . . . • The author wants us to think . . .
√ themes • This is important because . . . • At this point the article/story is about . . .
√ words to know • What do they mean by . . . • I still don’t understand . . .
• Ask questions • What I find confusing is . . . • What interested me most was . . .
• Make predictions • What will happen next is . . . • The author’s purpose here is to . . .
• Set a purpose • I can relate to this because . . . • A good word to describe (e.g., this
• Decide what matters most • This reminds me of . . . story’s tone) is . . . because . . .
• As I read, I keep wanting to ask . . . • This idea/story is similar to . . .

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 147
Period
Date
Linear Array

Name
Topic

148 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Literature Circle Notes: Overview of the Roles
Discussion Director: Your role demands that you identify Sample Questions
the important aspects of your assigned text and develop • What were you thinking about as you read?
questions your group will want to discuss. Focus on the • What did the text make you think about?
major themes or “big ideas” in the text and your reaction • What do you think this text/passage was about?
to those ideas. What interests you will most likely inter- • How might other people (of different backgrounds) think about this text/passage?
est those in your group. You are also responsible for fa- • What one question would you ask the writer if you got the chance? Why?
cilitating your group’s discussion. • What are the most important ideas/moments in this text/section?
• What do you think will happen next—and why?
• What was the most important change in this section? How and why did it
happen?

Illuminator: You find passages your group would like to/ Sample Questions
should hear read aloud. These passages should be memo- • What is happening in this passage?
rable, interesting, puzzling, funny, or important. Your notes • Why did you choose this passage?
should include the quotations but also why you chose them • What does this passage mean, or what is it discussing?
and what you want to say about them. You can either • How should you present this passage?
read the passage aloud yourself or ask members of your • Who is speaking or what is happening in this passage?
group to read roles. • What is the most unique aspect of this passage—and why is it unique?
• What did this quotation/passage make you think about when you read it?
• What makes this passage so confusing, important, or interesting?

Illustrator: Your role is to draw what you read. This might Sample Questions
mean drawing a scene as a cartoonlike sequence or an • Ask members of your group, “What do you think this picture means?”
important scene so readers can better understand the • Why did you choose this scene to illustrate?
action. You can draw maps or organizational trees to show • How does this drawing relate to the story?
how one person, place, or event relates to the others. • Why did you choose to draw it the way you did?
Explain how your drawing relates to the text. Label your • What do we see—i.e., who and/or what is in this picture?
drawings so we know who the characters are. Make your • What, if anything, did drawing it help you see that you had not noticed before?
drawing on a separate sheet of paper. • What did this quotation/passage make you think about when you read it?
• What are you trying to accomplish through this drawing?

Connector: Your job is to connect what you are reading Sample Questions
with what you are studying or with the world outside of • What connections can you make to your own life?
school. You can connect the story to events in your own • What other places or people could you compare this story to?
life, news events, political events, or popular trends. • What other books or stories might you compare to this one?
Another important source of connections is books you’ve • What other characters or authors might you compare to this one?
already read. The connections should be meaningful to • What is the most interesting or important connection that comes to mind?
you and those in your group. • How does this section relate to those that came before it?

Word Watcher: While reading the assigned section, you Sample Questions
watch out for words worth knowing. These words might • Which words are used frequently?
be interesting, new, important, or used in unusual ways. • Which words are used in unusual ways?
It is important to indicate the specific location of the words • What words seem to have special meaning to the characters or author?
so the group can discuss these words in context. • What new words did you find in this section?
• What part of speech is this word?
• What is the connotative meaning of this word?
• What is the denotative meaning of this word?

Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the day’s read- Sample Questions
ing. Use the questions to the right to help you decide • What are the most important events in the section you read?
what to include. In some cases, you might ask yourself • What makes them so important?
what details, characters, or events are so important that • What effect do these events have on the plot or the other characters?
they would be included on an exam. If it helps you to • What changes—in plot, character, or tone—did you notice when you read?
organize the information, consider making a numbered • What questions about the section you read might appear on an exam?
list or a time line. • What might be a good essay topic for this section of the story?

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 149
Literature Circle Notes: Discussion Director

Name Date

Discussion Director: Your role demands that Sample Questions
you identify the important aspects of your • What were you thinking about as you read?
assigned text and develop questions your • What did the text make you think about?
group will want to discuss. Focus on the ma- • What do you think this text/passage was about?
jor themes or “big ideas” in the text and your • How might other people (of different backgrounds) think about this text/
reaction to those ideas. What interests you passage?
will most likely interest those in your group. • What one question would you ask the writer if you got the chance? Why?
You are also responsible for facilitating your • What are the most important ideas/moments in this text/section?
group’s discussion. • What do you think will happen next—and why?
• What was the most important change in this section? How and why did it
happen?

Write your discussion questions here; write A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o d a y : page __________ — page __________
your responses to them in the main note-
taking area to the right. >>>>

To p i c t o b e c a r r i e d o v e r t o t o m o r r o w :

A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o m o r r o w : page __________ — page __________

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far. (Use the back if necessary.)

150 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Literature Circle Notes: Illuminator

Name Date

Illuminator: You find passages your group Sample Questions
would like to/should hear read aloud. These • What is happening in this passage?
passages should be memorable, interesting, • Why did you choose this passage?
puzzling, funny, or important. Your notes • What does this passage mean, or what is it discussing?
should include the quotations but also why • How should you present this passage?
you chose them and what you want to say • Who is speaking or what is happening in this passage?
about them. You can either read the passage • What is the most unique aspect of this passage—and why is it unique?
aloud yourself or ask members of your group • What did this quotation/passage make you think about when you read it?
to read roles. • What makes this passage so confusing, important, or interesting?

Write the page and paragraph number in this A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o d a y : page __________ — page __________
column. Unless the quote is really long, you
should also write the quote in this column;
write your responses to it in the main note-
taking area to the right.>>>>

To p i c t o b e c a r r i e d o v e r t o t o m o r r o w :

A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o m o r r o w : page __________ — page __________

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far. (Use the back if necessary.)

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 151
Literature Circle Notes: Illustrator

Name Date

Illustrator: Your role is to draw what you read. Sample Questions
This might mean drawing a scene as a • Ask members of your group, “What do you think this picture means?”
cartoonlike sequence or an important scene • Why did you choose this scene to illustrate?
so readers can better understand the action. • How does this drawing relate to the story?
You can draw maps or organizational trees • Why did you choose to draw it the way you did?
to show how one person, place, or event re- • What do we see—i.e., who and/or what is in this picture?
lates to the others. Use the notes area to • What, if anything, did drawing it help you see that you had not noticed
explain how your drawing relates to the text. before?
Label your drawings so we know who the • What did this quotation/passage make you think about when you read it?
characters are. Make your drawing on the • What are you trying to accomplish through this drawing?
back of this page or on a separate sheet of
paper.

Your drawing should be on the back or on a A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o d a y : page __________ — page __________
separate sheet of paper; your notes and ex-
planation should be on the right.>>>>

To p i c to b e c a r r i e d ove r t o to m o rr o w :

A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o m o r r o w : page __________ — page __________

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far. (Use the back if necessary.)

152 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Literature Circle Notes: Connector

Name Date

Connector: Your job is to connect what you Sample Questions
are reading with what you are studying in • What connections can you make between the text and your life?
this or other classes. You can also connect • What other places or people could you compare this story to?
the story with events in your own life or the • What other books or stories might you compare to this one?
world outside school as depicted in the news • What other characters or authors might you compare to this one?
or other media. Another valuable source of • What current trends or events are related to this section of the book?
connections is books you’ve already read this • What is the most interesting or important connection that comes to mind?
year. Connections should be meaningful to • What is the connection that no one else but you can discover?
you and those in your group. • How does this section relate to those that came before it?

Write your discussion questions here; write A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o d a y : page __________ — page __________
your responses to them in the main note-
taking area to the right.>>>>

To p i c to b e c a r r i e d o v e r t o t o m o r r o w :

A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o m o r r o w : page __________ — page __________

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far. (Use the back if necessary.)

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 153
Literature Circle Notes: Word Watcher

Name Date

Word Watcher: While reading the assigned Sample Questions
section, you watch out for words worth know- • Which words are used frequently?
ing. These words might be interesting, new, • Which words are used in unusual ways?
important, or used in unusual ways. It is im- • What words seem to have special meaning to the characters or author?
portant to indicate the specific location of • What new words did you find in this section?
the words so the group can discuss these • What part of speech is this word?
words in context. • What is the connotative meaning of this word?
• What is the denotative meaning of this word?

In this column, write the word as well as page A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o d a y : page __________ — page __________
and paragraph numbers. Write the definition
and any explanation about why you chose
the word in the notes section to the
right.>>>>

To p i c t o b e c a r r i e d o v e r t o t o m o r r o w :

A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o m o r r o w : page __________ — page __________

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far. (Use the back if necessary.)

154 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Literature Circle Notes: Summarizer

Name Date

Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the Sample Questions
day’s reading. Use the questions to the right • What are the most important events in the section you read?
to help you decide what to include. In some • What makes them so important?
cases, you might ask yourself what details, • What effect do these events have on the plot or the other characters?
characters, or events are so important that • What changes—in plot, character, or tone—did you notice when you read?
they would be included on an exam. If it helps • What questions about the section you read might appear on an exam?
you to organize the information, consider • What might be a good essay topic for this section of the story?
making a numbered list or a time line.

Write your discussion questions here; write A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o d a y : page __________ — page __________
your responses to them in the main note-
taking area to the right.>>>>

To p i c to b e c a r r i e d o v e r t o t o m o r r o w :

A s s i g n m e n t f o r T o m o r r o w : page __________ — page __________

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far. (Use the back if necessary.)

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 155
Outline Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

Main Idea/Subject
Supporting Idea 1.
Details/Examples A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Supporting Idea 2.
Details/Examples A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Supporting Idea 3.
Details/Examples A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Supporting Idea 4.
Details/Examples A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Summary/Observations

156 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Speech Outline Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

Main Idea/Subject
(What is the question your speech is trying to answer?)

Introduction _______________________________________________________________

Consider: A. ____________________________________________________
• Asking a thought-provoking
B. ____________________________________________________
question
• Beginning with a good/funny story C. ____________________________________________________
• Opening with a demonstration
• Making a strong statement D. ____________________________________________________
• Using a prop or visual
E. ____________________________________________________

Body of My Speech _________________________________________________________

Details/Examples A. ____________________________________________________

Remember to:
• ____________________________________________________
• Organize your speech in order of B. ____________________________________________________
importance, chronological order,
comparison/contrast, cause/effect, • ____________________________________________________
order of location, or problem/solu-
tion C. ____________________________________________________
• Use interesting details, examples,
or stories • ____________________________________________________
• Consider your audience’s needs and
questions D. ____________________________________________________

• ____________________________________________________
E. ____________________________________________________

• ____________________________________________________

Conclusion ________________________________________________________________

Details/Examples A. ____________________________________________________

Remember to: B. ____________________________________________________
• Tell one last interesting fact or story
C. ____________________________________________________
• Explain why the topic is important
• Sum up the most important ideas in D. ____________________________________________________
your speech
• Make a strong statement E. ____________________________________________________

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 157
Pyramid Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

Notes

158 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Cornell Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 159
Q Notes

Name Date
Topic Period
Overview: Q Notes combine two well-known and powerful methods: SQ3R and Cornell Notes. I call them “Q Notes” because you can
only write Q-uestions in the left-hand margin; when you prepare for a Q-uiz, the Q-uestions serve as CUES to remind you what you
must know. When using these notes to study, fold the right edge of the paper over so that it lines up with the dotted line. You should
then only be able to see your questions in the Q-column. Use these to Q-uiz yourself.

Directions: Turn the titles, subheadings, and Directions: In this area, write the answers to the questions. Use bullets or dashes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
topic sentences into questions in this column. to help organize your ideas. Also, use symbols and abbreviations to help you take
notes more efficiently.

Here you should review, retell, or reflect on what you read so far.

160 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Reporter’s Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

Reporter’s Notes help you get the crucial information—not “just the facts, Ma’am,” but the meaning of the facts, too. These are the
questions all reporters ask when they write their articles. These are the questions that good readers ask. Not all questions are always
appropriate; you decide if it’s okay to leave one or more blank, but be sure you can explain why that information is absent.

WHO (is involved or affected) Most Important WHO

WHAT (happened) Most Important WHAT

WHERE (did it happen) Most Important WHERE

WHEN (did it happen) Most Important WHEN

HOW (did they do it or did others respond) Most Important HOW

WHY (did they do this, react this way) Most Important WHY

SO WHAT? (Why is this event/info/idea important?) Most Important SO WHAT?

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 161
Sensory Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

Directions: Sensory Notes are a tool and technique designed to help you pay closer attention to details while you read. Effective
readers use all their senses while they read. Use this sheet to take notes on what you see, hear, smell, feel—and think—as you read.
Be specific and, if possible, write down the page numbers for future reference.

I SEE . . . Most Important Image

I HEAR . . . Most Important Sound

I FEEL . . . Most Important Sensation

I SMELL . . . Most Important Scent

I THINK. . . Most Important Thought

162 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Spreadsheet Notes (Three-Column)

Name Date
Topic Period

Summary/Response

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 163
164
Spreadsheet Notes (Four-Column)

Name Date Period

Topic/Chapter:

Subject (Who or What) Where When Why (Important)

Cosimo de Medici Italy (Florence) 1389–1464 Major patron of the arts during the Renaissance
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);
© 2002.
Spreadsheet Notes (Multicolumn)

Name Date
Topic Period

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 165
Who’s Who? The Character Directory
166

Title Name Period
Directions: When deciding which characters to include in the directory below, you must distinguish between major and minor characters. If you organize all the characters
along a continuum of importance, some would be at one end (e.g., a zero: not important) while others would be at the other end (e.g., a ten: essential, or most important).
Before adding a character’s name to the directory, ask yourself whether they are important enough, and if so, why they are so important.

Character’s Name Relationship/Role Location Description/Notes
May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH);
© 2002.
Story Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

Main Characters (Tip: Before listing them, determine what makes someone a “main character.”)

Setting (Tip: Setting includes not just time, but place and atmosphere.)

Primary Conflicts/Central Problems

Main Events (Tip: Before listing them, determine the criteria for a “main event.”)

Climax Resolution

Observations/Conclusions (Tip: Consider important themes, surprises, and connections to your life, other books, or classes.)

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 167
Plot Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

1. Exposition: Background information establishing the setting and describing the situation in which the main characters find themselves.
2. Rising action: Characters face or try to solve a problem. This results in conflicts within themselves or with others; these conflicts grow
more intense and complicated as the story unfolds.
3. Climax: Eventually the story reaches a crucial moment when the character must act.
4. Falling action: Sometimes called the denouement, this part of the story explores the consequences of the climactic decision. The
reader feels the tension in the story begin to ease up.
5. Resolution: The story’s central problem is finally solved, leaving the reader with a sense of completion, though the main character
may not feel the same way.
Climax

Rising Action Falling Action

Exposition Resolution
(Beginning) (Ending)

Exposition (Beginning) Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution (Ending)

What’s Most Important? Most Important? What’s Most Important?

Observations: Possible themes, important characters, notes on the author’s style

168 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Summary Notes

Name Date
Topic Period

BEFORE Sample summary written by Jackie Ardon
1. Determine your purpose. In “Surviving a Year of Sleepless Nights,” Jenny Hung discusses success and how
2. Preview the document. it may not be so good. Hung points out that having fun is better than having suc-
3. Prepare to take notes. cess and glory. Jenny Hung survived a painful year because of having too many
DURING honors classes, getting straight A’s, and having a GPA of 4.43. Why would any of
4. Take notes to help you answer these ques- this be bad? It’s because she wasn’t happy. She describes working so hard for
tions: something she didn’t really want. At one point she says, “There was even a month
• Who is involved? in winter when I was so self-conscious of my raccoon eyes that I wore sunglasses to
• What events, ideas, or people does the school.” She says she often stayed up late doing work and studying for tests for
author emphasize? her classes. After what she had been through, she decided that it was not her life,
• What are the causes? and chose her classes carefully once sophomore year came around.
• What are the consequences or implica-
tions?
5. Establish criteria to determine what is im-
portant enough to include in the summary.
6. Evaluate information as you read to de-
termine if it meets your criteria for impor-
tance.
AFTER
7. Write your summary, which should:
• Identify the title, author, and topic in
the first sentence
• State the main idea in the second sen-
tence
• Be shorter than the original article
• Begin with a sentence that states the
topic (see sample)
• Include a second sentence that states
the author’s main idea
• Include 3–5 sentences in which you ex-
plain—in your own words—the author’s
point of view
• Include one or two interesting quota-
tions or details
• Not alter the author’s meaning
• Organize the ideas in the order in which
they appear in the article
• Use transitions such as “According to”
+ the author’s name to show that you
are summarizing someone else’s ideas
• Include enough information so that
someone who has not read the article
will understand the ideas
Sample verbs: The author:
• argues • focuses on
• asserts • implies
• concludes • mentions
• considers • notes
• discusses • points out
• emphasizes • says
• examines • states
• explores • suggests

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 169
Summary Sheet

Name Unit/Subject
Period Date Class

QUICK PICKS OVERVIEW: Summarize the topic or chapter in one sentence.
names•dates•words

170 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Synthesis Notes

Name Date
Directions: Use this page to gather and organize the crucial information about the story. Use the right-hand column to identify one
aspect or character that seems vital to the story. You might determine what is most crucial by asking, “Which of all these (e.g.,
characters) makes the biggest difference in the story?” Some sections might be empty when you finish.

Story Title (and possible meaning) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Characters (name, description, roles) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Setting (where, when, atmostphere) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Themes (ides(s) central to the story; include examples) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Plot (what happens) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Style (use of language, imagery, symbolism, dialogue) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Point of View (tense, reliability, focus, narrator, in time) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

Design (linear, episodic; use of special form—e.g., letter, Most Important Aspect
journal) (Explain)

Tone (what the story sounds like) Most Important Aspect
(Explain)

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 171
T Notes

Name Date
Subject Period

Here (and on the back) you should write your obsevations, draw your conclusions, write your summary.

172 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Target Notes

Name Date
Subject Period

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 173
Think in Threes

Name Date
Project Page

174 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Time Line Notes

Name Date
Directions: Each line represents the next stage in a sequence. In a novel this might mean the next scene or chapter; in history it might
mean the next event or year. In the box underneath each line you should explain why this happened, what it means, why it is
important, or what it will cause to happen next.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

Notes/Observations:

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 175
Venn Diagram (Two-Domain)

Name Date
Topic Period

Observations/Conclusions:

176 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.
Venn Diagram (Three-Domain)

Name Date
Topic Period

Observations/Conclusions:

May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002. 177
Vocabulary Squares

Name Period Week

Directions: Please base your sentences on your current reading assignment unless otherwise directed.

Etymology and Part(s) of Speech Variations, Synonyms, Antonyms Etymology and Part(s) of Speech Variations, Synonyms, Antonyms

Symbol/Logo/Icon Definition(s) Symbol/Logo/Icon Definition(s)

Sentence Sentence

Etymology and Part(s) of Speech Variations, Synonyms, Antonyms Etymology and Part(s) of Speech Variations, Synonyms, Antonyms

Symbol/Logo/Icon Definition(s) Symbol/Logo/Icon Definition(s)

Sentence Sentence

Etymology and Part(s) of Speech Variations, Synonyms, Antonyms Etymology and Part(s) of Speech Variations, Synonyms, Antonyms

Symbol/Logo/Icon Definition(s) Symbol/Logo/Icon Definition(s)

Sentence Sentence

178 May be copied for classroom use. Tools for Thought by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); © 2002.