Teaching Students Proper Study Skills
Use this study skills lesson plan for mid to upper elementary students. Each study skill introduced is followed by an interactive activity. The lesson applies to several different subject areas.
For this lesson, students will need highlighters, sticky notes, paper, pencils and colored pencils.
Students will be familiarized with several good study skill strategies and how to create a proper study environment.
Study Skill #1: Study Environment
How do you study best? Is it outside, at the kitchen table, in a quiet room or in a room with soft music playing? Write down student responses on chart paper. Now, ask what materials and resources students need for optimal studying. Suggestions can include bright light, writing tools, sticky notes and/or a notebook and highlighters.
Interactive Activity #1
Ask students to spend some time drawing the optimal place to study. The picture should include where they will study, a light and any study tools they will need.
Study Skill #2: Reading for Understanding
Have students make a two-column chart. On one side of the chart have them write “Main Idea” at the top of the column. On the other side, have them write down any questions. Inform students that after every half page of reading, they should write down an important idea or summarize the reading in their own words.
Interactive Activity #2
Give students a short reading section. Tell them to listen and be prepared to write down the main idea of the selection. On the other side of the paper, they should write down a question if they don’t understand. If they didn’t understand, they need to reread to answer their question.
Study Skill #3: Making a Connection to the Reading
Making a personal connection to a story helps students remember the plot better. During reading groups tell students that they will be making a connection to the reading. A connection is a personal reaction or experience to the reading. For instance, if the story is about cooking, model a connection. Write “Last weekend, I made cookies with my family.” or “Although this character likes cooking, it is not one my favorite activities.” Write the connection on the post-it and stick it on the page.
Interactive Activity #3
Give students several post-it notes. Have students read a page and make a connection to the text. After several pages, students can go back and share their favorite connection.
Study Skill #4: Highlighting
This part of the activity should be done with a math word problem. Tell students that often times there are key words in a math problem. The word “of” signifies multiplication and the word "difference" means to subtract. These key words should be highlighted.
Interactive Activity #4
Give students a math word problem. Before calculating the answer, students should highlight key words and then write out each step of the problem. Have students put a box around their answer.
Students can write stories and math word problems. Then, they should exchange papers and practice the above study skills with their partner’s story and word problem.
Having the proper studying environment, reading for understanding, making connections to the text and highlighting are all good study habits. Showing students how to study properly in class will help them with their homework when the teacher is not there to help.