There’s nothing like having to give “boring notes” to 8th graders. I knew I needed to introduce key information about claims, evidence, arguments, facts and opinions… and that a foldable would help. So, when I found this easy step-by-step guide from Dividing by Zero, I knew I’d found the answer.
This foldable is unbelievably simple, but totally cool. My students went giddy with delight when they saw how it worked. If you know any 8th graders, you know that is a rare thing indeed. Also, even though I did this foldable with them weeks ago, my students have’t lost this set of “notes”!
Intrigued? Try it yourself!
- 1 full sheet of construction paper
- 1 half sheet of construction paper in a different color (I found it a huge time-saver to prepare a bunch of half sheets ahead of time)
- That’s it. Really. No glue, no tape, no staples…
Fold the whole sheet of paper in half. Then, fold the edges towards the fold so that it creates a “W.”
Hold the “pointy” middle section of the W, and cut a slit in the center, all the way to the fold. Then cut another slit on either side, to create 4 equal sections. When you lay it down, the paper will only have slits in the center.
Fold the half sheet of paper in half, and cut into two pieces.
Weave the two half sheets of paper into the whole sheet so that it alternates the colors.
Find the “secret” section in the middle! Gently pull the parts of the woven sections apart. (It works on either side of the foldable, but one side is usually easier to open than the other.)
It took me a while to plan out where I was going to put each part of the notes, especially since there is so much space on this foldable!
Using this Foldable for Claims & Arguments Notes
On the “cover” I had the students title the notes “Analyze Claims & Evidence” with their name, class period and date.
A couple students had already figured it out, but when I showed them how to open it up to the middle for the definitions, the looks on their faces were priceless. I’d never seen such smiles during note-taking! They spent the next minute playing with the foldable, which is to be expected.
We added the definitions to the middle of the foldable, then continued with the left and right panels (as mentioned above).
The back also opens up into a secret space with even MORE room to write notes, but we just wrote critical thinking questions related to close reading for claims and evidence on each square.
I actually intentionally left the back panel blank (not shown), in case they wanted to glue the notes to another page, but most of them just folded it up and stored it in a pocket folder.
Again, it’s miraculous how these notes haven’t gotten lost or destroyed–and I still see them referring to it!