Leave a comment and let us know how you’ll use this strategy in your class.
Have an idea for a strategy? Share it with us by completing this form and we’ll feature you!
Visual or graphic note taking, also called Sketchnoting, is gaining greater popularity as a strategy for increasing engagement in lectures, seminars and video presentations. When sketchnoting, learners use visual means to analyze information, make comparisons and develop analogies to better understand and communicate what they’ve learned. This requires higher level thinking. It is also directly related to Robert Marzano’s research on the significant positive affects that nonlinguistic representations have on student achievement.
Materials: sketchpad and pencil OR iPad/tablet and stylus
Special Note: Be sure to watch the corresponding video vignette to see a Sketchnote being created. This will help you understand the process better.
1.Gather tools for students to use while Sketchnoting. A low-tech option is a standard sketchpad and pen. For a high-tech option make iPad(s) or other tablet(s) and a stylus available. Make sure the tablets have some kind of drawing app installed. Sketches (free) or ProCreate (paid)
2.Teach students basic techniques for Sketchnoting, such as creating containers for information, arrows & lines, text and basic graphic shapes. Some examples are shown in the PDF version of the strategy. Consider providing the following image as a handout for students to use as a reference!
Creating Sketchnotes is a fun and interesting way to engage students in synthesizing information. With practice students will become more adept at providing visual interpretations of what they’ve learned and while also honing their ability to synthesize and analyze information.
Tips for effective Sketchnotes include:
1.Section the drawing surface into logical chunks of time (for example, four quarters for an 4-minute long video)
2.The less students think about their drawing skills, the better the result.
3.Illustrations are great to make the Sketchnote engaging and more meaningful, but it’s more important to get the essence of the conversation by creating a structure that helps explain the story of the information the Sketchnote has captured.
4.Encourage students to stop and listen from time to time. This will help them focus on summarizing information rather than recording everything word for word.
Access all strategies by visiting the SOS Content Collection in the Professional Development section in Discovery Education.