Note Taking Strategy – CNN Student News

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Hello Christian Friends & Homeschoolers!

Have you ever thought about how to help your child improve his or her note taking skills? I have. In fact, when I was teaching high school, I used this strategy almost daily in my classroom. It can also be successfully used in the homeschooling program as well. CNN Student News is a Monday-Friday, 10 minute, commercial free, news cast of major events in the world. It does not run during the summer months when school is usually out. It is particularly designed for middle school and high school student viewing. The format is similar each day with varying information.The major variance is some times there is a Shout Out Section.

I found that even the most challenging students became engaged students during the CNN Student News broadcast. I assigned my students the following form for taking notes.This helped them to focus on the events and facts that were the most important to them. In other words, it helped them focus on what they were hearing. It improved their note taking skills. It connected their auditory and visual skills.

When you allow your child to take notes on what is important to him, this activity becomes a high interest learning activity. He then takes ownership for part of the learning process.It helps him on the road to becoming a life long learner.

After the broadcast, we would end this note taking strategy with a short follow-up discussion. You might want to pause or replay a section of the broadcast during this procedure as necessitated. Another option is to download a copy of the transcript for your child to view as well. Below is a sample form.

CNN Student News Assignment

Instructions: Listen to CNN Students broadcast.While viewing, write five facts below, plus one additional fact in last section.

Five Facts:

  1. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





Shout Out/Roll Call/Additional Fact:

  1. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


About Martha Quinn

Book author, licensed teacher, master's degree (Reading K-12, Social Studies 7-12). Former homeschooler. Happily married Christian with two terrific children. Loves animals, swimming, music, fishing, gardening, cooking, traveling, exciting movies, good books, and the great outdoors.

2 comments on “Note Taking Strategy – CNN Student News

  1. This is excellent material for those doing home schooling. Our family watches CNN Student News regularly during the school year and in about 10 minutes or less learn more than from watching a regular news program. It reminds me of the “Weekly Readers” (only in video format) we used to get as grade school students (now that’s going way back).

    You’ve given some great helps for those teaching their children at home and helping them add more content to their home school curriculum. CNN Student News provides a fun way to learn and your teaching experience and guidance, through the assignment format you provided is so helpful in allowing us to apply it to a home school setting.

    Kudos to Martha Quinn!

    • Hello Zorro. Thanks for your great comments!Yes, I also remember the “Weekly Readers” as a grade school student. Watching CNN Student News on a daily basis will help homeschooling children develop their critical thinking skills. They will also have fun in the process. Using the note taking form improves their auditory skills as well. This is a great homeschooling activity.

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