Be a Cave Man or Woman
Today's Snack: A fun way to remember these note-taking tips is the
acronym ABC LOU. See below at how the first letter of each tip comes together
in that acronym. Let's have an "ABC" snack today. How about an apple . . . some berries . . . and some cheese cubes. If you can think of three other healthy snack foods
that start with a, b and c, go for it!
Large piece of blank
newsprint, plain white shelf paper, or poster board
Tape | Marker | OR use
a blackboard and chalk
Paper and pen for each
White sheet and twine
or rope to tie around someone
as a Cave Man or Woman
you are doing research for a report or paper on any topic, it really helps to
have good note-taking skills. The purpose of taking notes is to collect the
most important facts and the "gist" (pronounced "jist"), or main point, of what
you tried to write down everything that you read about your topic word for
word, it would take so much time that you would still be writing in the year
2050 and you'd have a long, gray beard!
let's see how to remember important facts and points in a practical way. Let's
learn how to take notes, and get set up for success in writing your actual
report or paper.
"acronym" (pronounced AK-roe-nim) is like a nickname to help you remember a
longer name. An acronym is a word that is spelled by the first letters of a
group of words. Example: a grade school often has a "PTO" and that stands for
Parent-Teacher Organization. NOBODY ever calls it "Parent-Teacher
Organization." EVERYBODY calls it the "PTO."
for our note-taking guidance, memorize the acronym "ABC LOU" and when we get to
the "C," we have a fun little Cave Man or Woman exercise:
Abbreviations - write tom. for tomorrow; use + for and; U.S. for
the United States of America, and so forth. Everyone who texts is already good
Bullets - let's say your topic is baseball; you can write
notes on your subtopics making these brief bullet points:
Everyone plays both
offense and defense
Each batter gets up to
three strikes and/or four balls
And so on. . . .
Cave Man or
Woman Talk. Can you imagine how the
early humans must have communicated, before almost any vocabulary words were
invented yet? In one-word replies, with pictures, and with gestures, right?
a great way to take notes and remember information! Practice this key
note-taking skill in small group or with at least one other person.
1. First, tape up on the wall a big piece of paper to
write on with a marker, or use a blackboard and chalk.
2. Choose one student to be the Cave Man or Woman. Wrap
him or her with an old sheet, secured with rope or a leather belt, to look like
Fred or Wilma Flintstone and complete the Cave Man or Woman "look."
3. Listen to a radio or TV report about something, or
have another student or instructor read aloud from a book.
4. The Cave Man or Woman should jot down just a few key
words instead of trying to write down each complete, formal sentence.
5. You can make quick sketches, the way the cave men and
women drew buffalo to record hunts and so forth.
6. Take notes and keep drawings in this simplified "cave
man or woman" quick version and you'll remember more by writing down less.
7. After you've taken notes in this format, everyone
should write a report based on those notes.
be amazed at how many more words you can use, effortlessly, even though you
didn't record them when you were taking notes. That's because you've just noted
the highlights, and haven't overstuffed your memory bank.
for the "LOU" part of our note-taking lesson. You could appoint one person to
turn over the sheet of big paper you used for the Cave Man or Woman exercise,
and use the back . . . or erase the blackboard and start over. Have someone
read a report on some topic aloud, such as an encyclopedia article, or show a
quick video with some facts and figures so that the person standing at the
board takes notes for the group:
Lists - instead of trying to put facts each in a separate sentence,
just list a key word or two for each fact and group and re-group your lists.
One word for
several - be thrifty with your word
choices so you don't get bogged down in too many words and too much information
when it comes time to write your report or paper with your best stuff.
Use your own
words - don't just copy down the
words that you read. You can "own" this material by thinking about it just a
little bit. Write down the concepts and facts in your OWN words - as if you
were telling somebody else. That transfers the knowledge into YOUR hands . . .
where it ought to be!