Double Entry Organizer


The Double Entry Organizer (DEO) is a strategy to promote active engagement during and after interaction with content. It is intended to provide scaffolding and guidance for students to take notes and reflect on those notes, generating questions about the content, ideas, connections, and opinions. In addition, students can use the questions generated from the DEO to discuss the lesson’s content in small or large groups and can maintain completed organizers as reference for independent study.


  1. Provide the DEO to students or have them create their own on a sheet of paper folded lengthwise in the middle.
  2. Clarify for students the difference between information from the text/content and student responses to the text/content.
  3. Show completed DEO models to students with examples of different ways to fill it out (e.g. bullets, drawings, questions, reflective notes, etc.)
  4. Have students read the assigned text and add entries to the DEO at natural stopping places (so as to not interrupt the flow of reading). 
  5. As students become more comfortable using the DEO, make blank copies available for them to use at any time.



  • What questions did you record early in your reading that still are not answered?
  • Identify a section of text that was particularly difficult for you and discuss with a partner how the DEO helped you work through it.
  • What kind of responses in your DEO were most helpful to you in processing and remembering what you read?
  • The DEO can be paired with strategies from other Literacy Subdomains to enhance student comprehension. For example, students may use DEO in preparation for Academic Dialogue strategies such as Block Party, It Says-I Say-And So, or Paired Verbal Fluency.
  • The DEO does not need to be collected for a grade, but the teacher may do spot checks to ensure students are capturing enough information from the text.
  • Encourage students to add to their DEO as they continue reading or reread the text and have new realizations or find answers to previous questions.
  • In addition to using the DEO during reading, students can also use the DEO as a note taking tool during listening or viewing activities.




Students complete a DEO as they read an authentic forensic report, especially making note of how the report is structured and written, as well as looking for key vocabulary terms.


Students use a DEO while reading a play review written by a theater critic. They use the information on the DEO to engage in an Academic Dialogue strategy to discuss their agreement or disagreement with the critic’s opinion on the play.


Students use a DEO as they read a primary source document from the Depression Era.


Students in the Education Pathway use a DEO as they read The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori, especially focusing on Montessori methods that they may have experienced as a student.



Billmeyer, R. and Barton, M. L. 1998. Teaching reading in the content areas: If not me, then who? 2nd Edition. Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory.

Double-entry journals. AdLit. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2022, from 

Pauk, Walter; Owens, Ross J. Q. (2010). How to Study in College (10 ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth. ISBN 978-1-4390-8446-5. Chapter 10: “The Cornell System: Take Effective Notes”, pp. 235-277