Personhood Curriculum
6th Grade
Note Taking #3
Introduce Note-taking Shorthand
Lesson Plan

Teaching Goals
  1. Introduce personalized shorthand for note taking.
  2. Students do cold-practice creating shorthand entries from longhand versions.

Teacher Prep

This lesson should precede lesson apg5-12, which practices out-of-the-air note taking, using essay "Brain."

Print out the table, "Short Hand Examples". - - - shorttab.htm - - - shorttab.rtf

This version has answers filled in. Make copies for each student. Pass out after the exercise on projection screen.
Print out the table, "Short Hand Examples". - - - shortabs.htm - - - shortabs.rtf
This version is without answers, to be projected onto a screen.
Have a sharp marker pencil suitable for marking on transparencies.

Class Time


We are going to look at using a kind of shorthand for taking notes. This is a skill that takes some time to develop. It may be hard at first. Once you develop it, you will likely use it most of you life. It is a skill that allows you to quickly record some information, without taking a lot of time to write it like in an essay. This skill is useful in all of your future classes all though school. It will be useful in a company that you might work in, or a club you might be a member of. You can use it for everyday things, like making out a shopping list.


Everybody who learns this skill has his or her own version of how to do it. There is no easy way to have a common method. Some people learn "real" short hand, but that is quite hard to do and takes a great deal of practice.

Project the table below, without the "Short Version" filled in.

What we are going to do is look at a few easy and neat tricks to speed up ordinary writing. In this table we have some words and phrases on the left side. Let's see how we might be able to write something much shorter that will call the original back into our minds when we later look at our notes. Fill in student answers on the transparency.

Short Hand Examples
Long Version
Short Version



test next Tuesday

tst = tue

200 word essay

200w esa



Especially if it is clear the topic is "expectations"

Long Division

lng div., or L/







If context is about tutors

read pages 115 through 132

rd pg 115-132

President George W. Bush

pres W Bsh

President George Washington

pres Wash









federal government


A common abbreviation

To repeat the word directly above.


ditto mark

Notice how we shortened things up quite a bit by using sound-alikes, using symbols, and by leaving out letters. We can use anything that will remind us of the original! We also use context to help us read our notes later. Can anyone tell us what "context" means?
Actually, developing your own shorthand methods is creative. You sometimes have to make it up as you go. When you read over your notes after class, sometimes you will think of better ways to do things. It is a challenge, and can be fun to see what you can come up with!

Teacher Follow-up
Possibly to suggest abbreviations while she is talking.
Encourage student to take notes.

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As of: 13 Jan 2002