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Jot Charting provides students with a simple outlining tool for organizing related information. The Jot Chart is especially effective for visualizing information regarding ideas, people, events, and processes.

The Jot Chart organizes data in a two-dimensional matrix with topics/categories/items recorded horizontally and specific questions/characteristics recorded vertically This tool helps students gather and synthesize information from data-rich reading selections.

Steps to Jot Charting:

  1. Create a Jot Chart on the chalkboard or on an overhead transparency or produce a print copy for each student. The chart/matrix should be structured as follows:

    • Main ideas/items for description or analysis are listed across the top of ther chart.

    • Question/characteristics of the main ideas/items are listed down the left side of the chart.

  2. Discuss the purpose of the chart with students before the reading assignment. Give an example of a completed chart to help clarify its functions.

  3. Have students read the selection and complete the Jot Chart.

  4. Discuss the students' findings and compile the results into a group Jot Chart. Stress the relationships between the data in the chart.


Learn More:

  • Vacca, R.D., Vacca J. (1995). Content area reading. (5th. Ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.

  • Jot-Charting


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