Connecting with Content at A Higher Level
Kristin Donley, Science Teacher | Monarch HS
In November 2017, I attended the Google for Education Summit in Louisville, Colorado. At the Summit, I was inspired by Sylvia Duckworth and her sessions on Sketchnoting. I was excited by the idea because it employs the use of simple sketches in addition to words in note-taking. Research shows when students use pictures to represent ideas, they are connecting with the content at a higher level and are more actively engaged.
“...sketchnoting helps me use both sides of my brain…”
To kickoff my student’s sketchnoting journey, I showed them a simple video on how to use sketchnoting and then I asked them to read text from a site called Actively Learn. I asked them to create Sketchnotes on the assigned topic: osmosis and factors that affect it. After the assignment, I asked students if this way of taking notes helped them understand the topic better than the strategies they were employing previously, and I was encouraged to hear, “I am artistic and I like science, sketchnoting helps me use both sides of my brain and it is a great visual way to help me memorize information.” Another student said, “I love drawing and colors, this method engages me more as I am a visual learner; the pictures with the words helps me understand what I am learning better.”
“I am seeing more engagement and better writing…”
I have noticed students are taking more notes, and the notes are not just copied paragraphs from the text. Rather, they are creating concept maps with words and pictures that are helping them comprehend, synthesize and analyze information to a greater extent. They are employing Bloom’s taxonomy from remembering to understanding to analyzing, evaluating and creating. It is early in my journey of using sketchnoting in the classroom, but I am seeing more engagement and better writing in their formative assessments. The best outcome so far is that I have noticed several students using sketchnoting in their other classes! I am excited to see how our journey in sketchnoting evolves over the rest of the year!
Resources from Kristin’s Class
Here is the sample lesson I gave in Schoology:
“Click on the links, read the articles and watch the videos. In class I will teach you how to do sketchnoting which will help you increase your memory and engagement with the content you are learning. This information will help you be successful on the osmosis inquiry. While watching the videos and reading the articles, take some sketchnotes as well as answer the questions in the black boxes in Actively Learn. Upload your sketchnotes to this assignment...can take a picture or scan in.”
Videos to help you understand the content: