Throughout this school year, I have been using sketchnoting as a medium for helping students craft visual notes and share their closer reading of a text. Whether sketchnoting smaller chunks of a text or lengthier excerpts, I usually provide students some scaffolding for thinking about their sketchnote designs by giving them steps or talking points of ideas they may want to incorporate into their sketchnote design.
Students just completed a unit project on Dickinson and Whitman in which sketchnoting a poem by one or both of these poets was an option in the project learning contract. Like all of their other creative product options, I provided a working “checklist” of ideas for designing their visual notes and analysis of a Dickinson or Whitman poem of their choice:
Our “Sketchnote Center” referenced in the support document was a collection of exemplary sketchnotes students had created last semester, and these served as “mentor texts” to inspire student thinking. The “FSLL” method mentioned in the document is a strategy for poetry analysis I found in the summer of 2016 from a fellow teacher in this Facebook group. I will compose a separate blog post on the FSLL strategy soon.
Here is an initial sampler of student work:
Supplies I provided students included:
- 11X17 paper (plain white as well as pastel colored sheets)
- Assorted colors of Sharpies
- Magic Markers
- Colored Pencils
- Copies of the poems they wanted to sketchnote (I did printing upon demand for students)
Two of my classes were able to participate in a gallery walk in which we set up stations for students to view and provide feedback on the creative products (sketchnotes were one choice on a menu of possibilities) that students created for their projects (students had the choice to work alone or with a partner on the project). Of these two classes, some students in one section crafted “commercials” to pitch their project and orient their peers using the Seesaw app.
And here are some scenes from our project gallery walk (another blog post forthcoming soon) we did in our media center last week:
If you want to learn more about sketchnoting, these resources are my starting points, and I think you’ll find them helpful as well!
- Dana Murphy’s post on her first efforts with sketchnoting over at the Two Writing Teachers blog
- Shawna and Tanny’s presentation over the EdCollab Gathering
- Tanny’s list of articles and research to support this work; also see Tanny’s ISTE 2017 presentation page.
Last but not least, the video recording of Shawna and Tanny’s presentation:
Tanny has been such a wonderful supporter of my work with my students this academic school year, and I am thrilled to share that I will be presenting at ILA (International Literacy Association) 2018 in Austin, Texas with the amazing Tanny McGregor and Paula Bourque! Our hands-on workshop is “It’s Sketchy! Visual Notetaking for Every Classroom” and will take place this July. I’ll post more information once I know our session date and time. I am truly honored to be presenting with these two incredible literacy educators. You can learn more about the conference here.
Are you sketchnoting with your students? If so, I’d love to hear about what you are doing!