You mean we don't have to copy everything out of the textbook?
I try to introduce the concept of sketchnotes, or visual note taking, in snack size portions before asking the students to try out this style of note taking. I start with practice in the areas of three basic elements: text (heirarchy), image and structure. Vocabulary terms are a great opportunity for students to practice visual representations of concepts, and apparently more fun than copying definitions from the text book. But do they learn the words? Look at this student's example, I feel like this student has a better understanding of this concept than a student that copied words and definitions from a glossary.
The Lesson in digital format
Some more occasions for drawing concepts:
When student's are starting off a new school year, it is the perfect time to talk about goal setting and what they hope to accomplish. One year I made a sketchnote of my bucket list. I uploaded a picture of it to Thinglink and added "touches" to it so that I could collect resources that would help me to accomplish my goals. As I checked things off of my bucket list, I added "touches" to my image that were in the form of text and photo as evidence of completion.
The #OneWord version of a New Year's Resolution was a great opportunity for us to practice drawing concepts. My #OneWord was CULTIVATE. We practice mindful meditation, so our #OneWord sketches became our anchor word during our mindfulness practice. Sketching the concept really helped us to have a deeper understanding of our anchor words and what they meant to us.
Although I did this sketch titled "Things That I Love" as a Valentine's Day activity, it would also be a good one to do at the beginning of the year when you are getting to know each other. Reflection and sharing is really important; don't leave that part out. You can just have students leave their sketch on their desk or table and then allow time for wandering around the room to look at other student's sketches as if they were in an art gallery. When gallery walk time is up, ask the student's to share by asking follow up questions:
- What is something new that you learned about one of your classmates?
- What is something that you have in common with another classmate?
- How might you use this note-taking strategy in another situation?