Using Interactive Notebooks for US History

Making Learning History Interactive

Using Social Studies Interactive Notebooks

            If you are looking to turn your social studies time into a hands on learning time, then interactive notebooks are the perfect way to do that. So, what are interactive notebooks?  An interactive notebook is an organizational learning tool for the classroom. They are usually a composition notebook, spiral bound notebook, or some teachers even use a three ring binder. The pages throughout the notebook serve a different purpose depending on what is being studied. 

          These comprehensive portfolios of learning can make any history topic fun and engaging.  Because note-booking requires students to use one tool to store the flippables, passages, and other activities as you move through a unit, their notebook becomes an archive of information by the end of the school year. It's the perfect place to document all of their learning, which makes for a perfect review pack come testing time at the end of a unit or even for standardized testing. Students can cut, paste, write and draw in their notebooks, which allows them to better connect with the material being taught.  They can even jot their thinking right there in the interactive notebook.


us history interactive notebooks for social studies

Other Reasons to Use Interactive Notebooks

  • They help with organization!  All lesson notes and other activities are stored in one place. Students don't need to go searching through their desk for their missing skill sheet, as they are all kept neatly in the notebook.
  • They have an end product that is a portfolio of their learning.  This is great to use for study guides and to show parents at conferences.  They are perfect to go back through before state testing, as they are quite comprehensive.
  • They provide a creative outlet for students.  You have the option to let students color their flippables for their social studies notebooks.  They can also highlight, draw, and write on the pages. They can add their own personal doodles for their notes.  
  • Students take ownership of their notebook, which really means they take ownership of their learning.  They become proud of the time and effort they put into the portfolio of learning. They love to show off their learning.
  • Teachers can model the learnings by creating a notebook right along with the students.  Use a projector to display the steps of cutting and gluing, as well as modeling writing and thinking.
  • You can customize the learning that goes into the notebook. As the teacher, you can pull graphic organizers, passages, notes, etc. from a variety of different places and have students glue them in the notebook.  You don't have to follow one set curriculum, just pull the resources that help you meet your social studies standards.
  • Students are held accountable for their learning. It's very easy to keep track of a student's progress with activities.  This means students can't say they did it if they didn't.  If they completed an activity (or started it), that can be viewed in the notebook.  Once again, that's a perfect tool to show at conferences.  
  • They are fun!  Let's face it.  More kids than not would rather create a creative flippable for their notebook to answer questions and document their learning rather than complete a standard worksheet.  
  • SO many more reasons!

Have fun learning with interactive notebooks!  Oh, and an added bonus is that they make teaching social studies fun too.

Learn more about what is included in our notebooks here:
US History Interactive Notebook Bundle