Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Stop and Jot

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


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Stop and Jot

This text annotation and reading strategy helps students break down and analyze large pieces of text.

Stop and Jot


This strategy requires students to digest a reading paragraph by paragraph. Students read an assigned text, stopping at the end of each paragraph to jot down the main ideas of that paragraph. They review their notes with a partner before engaging in a whole-class discussion.


  1. Assign students a reading and explain the rules of the Stop and Jot activity.

  2. Have students read the text, stopping at the end of each paragraph to write the main ideas of that paragraph in the margin.

  3. Pair students or have them select their own partners.

  4. Students discuss the notes they wrote in the margin with their partner.

  5. When pairs have had ample time to compare and discuss notes, have student pairs discuss their findings with the class.