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Using Cornell Notes to Teach DNA

If you’ve ever thought about using Cornell notes to teach DNA structure and function, you’ve come to the right place! Or maybe you’re looking for a resource about DNA and clicked on a link that brought you here.

By far the topic I get the most questions about is Cornell notes. Teachers see this blog post and are looking for more information and specifics on how to use them. (Check out the link above for a free Cornell notes template!)

I’ve also been asked if I had any plans to create resources using Cornell notes. It sounded like a great idea to me!

My first product (of many) using Cornell-style notes is on the structure and function of DNA.

I wanted to make this resource as complete and usable as possible. To that end, I created two different types of Cornell notes. One set is Cloze-style for students that need a bit more structure in their note-taking. The other set has only the questions on the side, making it suitable for students that are more able to dig out important information.

Not only that, but I included two different sizes of notes. There’s a regular size 8 1/2″ by 11″ set for binders and a 7″ x 9″ set for interactive notebooks.

The notes follow along exactly with the Powerpoint presentation. Students should have no problem following it and completing the notes if you wanted to use this as a flipped or blended learning lesson. For distance learning, I also included a Google Slides presentation if you’re uploading it to Google Classroom.

This resource also includes a DNA labeling and coloring diagram, with some higher-order analysis questions. Perfect for homework or a station activity!

And of course, there’s an answer sheet, along with some suggestions for the teacher on ways to use the resource.

Some ideas I had for different ways to use this resource are:

  • use it in class as a traditional lecture with the Powerpoint or Google Slides while students take notes on the Cornell note sheets
  • put the notes under your document camera and write the notes along with the students, explaining as you go
  • assign the Powerpoint as homework … the students can take notes as they view it. Then the next day in class do the coloring and labeling activity.
  • use the different parts of the resource as stations in a blended learning/station rotation classroom
  • perfect for absent students … give them the answer sheet or let them view the Powerpoint on their own to get the notes

This resource really has everything you need to introduce nucleic acids by using Cornell notes to teach DNA. It’s basically print and go! Check it out in my TpT store by clicking the image below.

cornell notes structure and function of DNA

I plan on adding many more resources along the same format. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me work on, just let me know in the comments below.

Happy Teaching!

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