Personhood Curriculum
6th Grade
Note Taking #2
Self Expectations
Lesson Plan

Teaching Goals
  1. Continue note taking practice.
  2. How to pick up explicitly stated hints.
  3. Listening for emphasis.
  4. Listening for repeats.
  5. Learning about the power of self-expectations.
  6. "Expanding the Student's Self-Interest Horizon". Follow link to read about this. (Students write out some positive self-expectations, and write an essay about one.)

Teacher Prep

Teachers: If you have not done so already, read this introduction, "Teaching Note Taking." There is no need to print this out for class.

Print out this essay to be read by you in class. It has guides for emphasis, etc.
"Self-Expectations" - - - expect-t.htm - - - expect-t.rtf
Print out this version and duplicate it to hand out. It is for the students to take notes on.
"Self-Expectations" - - - expect-s.htm - - - expect-s.rtf
Print out the instructions for writing list and essay. Make copies to hand out.
exp-inst.htm - - - exp-inst.rtf

Have ready a number of good Self-Expectations to suggest to students who are stuck thinking of any. Also be able to say why they would be helpful.


Class Time


Your own expectations of yourself are how you view what you can do, and what you can't do. They are probably the most important things that determine how successful in life you will be. With low or bad expectations about what you can accomplish, you are on the road to failure. With the belief that you can succeed in spite of difficulties, you are on the road to success. To a significant degree your future depends upon your self-expectations, now and in the future!


Pass out the student note-taking copies of the essay "Self Expectations."

"I am going to read another short essay to you. You are to both listen and understand, and highlight or underline things that are important. Get your clues from how I emphasize things, repeat things, or directly tell you.

Read the essay "Self Expectations" (Teacher's copy!) BE SURE to strongly emphasize the large bolded words!

"From your notes answer these questions:

"Did anyone take any other notes?" If yes, ask them what, and why?

If it had potential value, say so.

If they made a note that wasn't important, ask them: "That doesn't seem important, but did it do any harm to write that note?" (No harm)

"Did you notice how quick you could find the important information? If you had not marked your paper, it would take longer. If this had been a very long paper, the notes would have helped even more.

"Notes like this help by allowing you to focus your energy on learning the really important stuff.

Student Activity

We now want to personalize the lesson from the essay.

Please take out a clean sheet of paper and pencil. Pass out the instructions, (below).


1. Make a list of positive self-expectations you have for yourself. You may talk with each other or with the teacher to get ideas.

2. When you have several (at least 3), pick one.

3. Write a short essay about

4. This essay will be graded as an English assignment, and upon the quality and seriousness of your written discussion. Think carefully. You may talk with each other or with the teacher to get ideas.

5. This is to be a serious effort. No joking or clowning around!

6. You will turn in both papers at: ____________________

Keep the returned work in your Personhood folders. Your parents would very likely want to see it!

Teacher Follow-up

When teacher thinks it might be of benefit, remind students:

"Take notes on the following material."
Remember that they have not yet developed the habit!

After material presentation, ask for samples of the notes taken. Complement good notes.

After the first time doing this, use questions directed at students who need more attention discipline: "Janet, tell me a couple of the notes you took." (Tell Janet privately in advance that you are going to call on her, in order to keep her focused on note taking. Tell her you are going to do it because you love her/care about her, and want to help her to become the best she can be!)

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As of: 27 Aug. 2003