Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Three Sticky Notes

K20 Center | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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Three Sticky Notes

Working in small groups, students generate key ideas/themes/concepts from a reading or discussion, which can serve as guides for further study or review.

Three Sticky Notes


This strategy is used to help students summarize a paragraph or short reading and then compare summaries with other students.


  1. Supply students with three blank sticky notes.

  2. On the first sticky note, students write one word that summarizes the reading.

  3. On the second sticky note, students write a phrase that summarizes the reading.

  4. On the third sticky note, students write a sentence that summarizes the reading.

  5. Sort students into small groups (or have them select their own groups).

  6. Student groups first compare their one-word summaries, then their phrases, and, finally, their sentences.

McLaughlin, M.,  & Allen, M. (2009). Guided comprehension in grades 3–8; International Reading Association Conference.