March 25, 2012

Note-Taking Foldable Freebie For Informational Text

How can you transform almost any assignment into an adventure? Use foldables! Foldables are so much fun to make, and when students create their own, they seem to take more pride in their work.

Note-taking Foldables
Foldables are terrific for note-taking assignments based on informational text. The examples shown on the right were created by my students during a science unit on the rain forest. I had four subtopics I wanted them to explore; therefore, I used a four-flap foldable so they could write one question on each flap. 

Below you'll find directions for making this rain forsest foldable. It works great for taking notes on any topic that has four clear subtopics - even textbook chapters!

I usually have students create foldables from plain paper, but if you've never created this one before, you may want to use the pattern below. It has dotted lines for folding and solid lines for cutting. You can download the Rain Forest Foldable pattern from the Science File Cabinet on Teaching Resources.

How to Make a Rain Forest Foldable:
  1. Give each student a large sheet of white construction paper - 12" x 18" was used in the examples above. Show your students how to fold it into eighths. (If using the pattern, have them fold on the dotted lines.)
  2. Ask students to open their papers and then fold the top and bottom halves in to meet at the center. (If using the pattern, the printed side goes down.)
  3. Next, show your students how to snip the fold in the middle of each flap to create a total of four flaps as shown in the photo above. (If using the pattern, cut on the two solid lines.)
  4. Ask students to write the title of the foldable and their name in the large space on the back, and then flip it over and write their four subtopics on the front, one per flap.
  5. If time allows, provide a few minutes for students to decorate their foldables. 
  6. Demonstrate how to lift up each flap and take notes in the area under the flap. (Tip: It's helpful to draw solid lines on the folds inside the foldable to separate the four sections.)
Not only are foldables a terrific way to actively engage students, they're also great because kids can store them and refer to them later when studying for a test or completing an assignment. How might you use this foldable? 


  1. What a GREAT linky party idea, Laura! My class has loved using foldables in our math journals this year! And it's the first year we've all been EXCITED about our math journals.

    Runde's Room

  2. We are really loving foldables in our class as well! Great idea!


    Rockin' Teacher Materials

  3. Another wonderful idea, Laura! Carolyn

  4. So cute!! I love foldables in the classroom! They are great tools!

    Ann Marie Smith @ Innovative Connections

  5. This is a great idea for a linky party - I plan on linking up this week!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  6. Neat idea, Laura! I am lucky enough to work with Dinah Zike, who created Foldables. She is always interested in learning how people are using Foldables in education. I've created a Pinterest board called Dinah Zike's Foldables and invite you to add some of your favorite examples there, too!

    1. Thanks Rhonda! You are lucky if you work with Dinah! I love her work! I don't think I can add any foldables to your Pinterest board unless you add me as a collaborator, but you are welcome to return to this blog post and pin these examples yourself. Or you can add me as a collaborator and I'll be happy to add great ones as I see them. I'm following you now, so all you have to do is add me to that board. Contact me at if you have questions. Thanks!

  7. Here's the link:

    I'm a bit slow on adding buttons, but they'll be coming soon to our websites ( and

    Happy folding!

  8. Awesome linky party! I'll be linking up soon :)

  9. I am SO excited to join this linky party! I love to fold anything! I am your newest follower.

    First Class Teacher

  10. Thanks for the great link up Laura!

  11. I love foldables too! I use them for vocabulary, bookreports, end-of-grade testing and anything else that I can think of.

  12. Will you check my blog and see if my latest post fits into your Foldables Linky Party?

    Enjoy Teaching English

  13. I love this linky party! I'm your newest follower, by the way. Come and visit me sometime!

  14. Laura - I love all your stuff and the workshops - but this is by far my favorite! Students love foldables! Thanks for sharing - you are awesome!

  15. Thanks Eva! I appreciate the kind words. My kids loved foldables, too!

  16. Laura,
    Even though you closed this LINK UP party...I added a link from my blog with a link back to this page. I have a great example of a Figurative Language Foldable I did with my class last year!


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