Two-Column Notes

Two-Column Notes for Informational Texts – This strategy helps students organize informational texts.


  1. The teacher makes a transparency of a passage to be read.
  2. The students take a piece of paper and fold it in half. The left column is labeled Key Words or Main Idea. The right column is labeled Elaborations.
  3. The students write the key words or main idea in the left column as they read the passage.
  4. The students elaborate on the key words or main idea in the right column.
  5. Once completed, the students can use the two-column notes to test themselves.


Lapp, D., Flood, J., & Farnan, N. Content area reading and learning: Instructional strategies. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 1989.

Next Strategy