(This is a cross post from a guest blogpost for Alice Keeler.)
Sketchnoting, or visual note-taking, has so many benefits for students. Many studies have proven that images are considerably more effective than words when it comes to memory retention, comprehension and motivation. There are psychological benefits as well, because sketchnoting has a calming effect similar to meditation and listening to soothing music. Sketchnoting also allows students to see the bigger picture in the concepts they are studying, to make connections in their learning, and to display their learning process.
Before you begin sketchnoting in class, however, it is extremely important that you set up a doodling culture so that your students understand that IT’S OKAY TO DOODLE!
This is very counterintuitive for most teachers who feel that in order for the student to truly absorb the material being taught, they have to be looking at the teacher. This is a mindset that is very difficult to get over for teachers and for students, but with consistent reminders that it’s okay, sketchnoting will soon become a natural and normal part of your daily class routine.
Here are 5 good tips to create a sketchnoting or doodling culture in your classroom:
- Remind your students over and over again that it’s okay to sketchnote in class as a form of note-taking, planning, processing information, and keeping engaged in class.
- Provide paper/pen/pencils/notebooks/digital devices for sketchnoting.
- Model sketchnoting yourself by doodling with the students and displaying your sketchnotes.
- Spend 5 minutes a day with your students to focus on building their visual vocabulary. Visit the #SKETCHNOTEFEVER resource page for 21 free video lessons.
- Encourage your students to share their sketchnotes. Create a space in your classroom/class website to allow students to do this. Celebrate their amazing progress as the school year goes on!
For more tips and tricks for getting started with sketchnoting in the classroom, check out my new book, “How to Sketchnote: A Step-by-Step Manual for Teachers and Students”.Happy sketchnoting!