Exploring the World of Sketchnoting

To hear more about “Exploring the World of Sketchnoting,” check out Episode 4, Season 1 of The Educator Bulldog Podcast.

Sketchnoting is something I have seen. Anyone that has been on Twitter has seen the amazing sketchnotes of Sylvia Duckworth. I even went so far as to attend a conference with keynote Manuel Herrera, where he presented the research, importance, and benefits of sketchnoting. However, the whole idea of doing it myself was overwhelming. Even though I didn’t completely jump on to the idea, one quote stuck with me in his keynote speech that he shared was “Drawing is not art. Drawing is thinking. If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.”~Albert Einstein

Bisque and Black Text Traditional Nature Quote Instagram PostThat planted a seed. I also started following Manuel Herrera on Twitter and did some surfing through Twitter via the #sketchnoting but it sat in my thoughts and reflections for months.

In mid- February in my trolling of #sketchnoting I came upon the #doodleandchat. It takes place every Saturday at 9:33ish and is a one-hour doodle session live on YouTube with the author, of the book My Pencil Made Me Do It, Carrie Baughcum, and daughter Annabeth. I lurked via twitter and did not jump in as a participant until mid-April.

At that point, schools across the country were in emergency remote teaching, and for the betterment of all Carrie and Annabeth started offering a Wednesday session of #doodleandchat at 6:33ish.

Within that same window, I learned more about two-column notes (a more flexible version of Cornell notes) and graphic organizers as a literacy tool for comprehension. This particularly applied to tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary across content areas. All my synapses were firing!

I have since read Carrie’s book and have begun exploring my own understanding and comfort with sketchnoting.

Seven things I have come to learn about sketchnoting:

  1. Uses both sides of the brain–> verbal (left) visual (right)
  2. Releases creativity- choice in expression
  3. Helps organize knowledge (fill the page organically)
  4. Student Voice honored with customized expedient note-taking
  5. Improves learning/ cements and makes learning meaningful
  6. Helps to see the big picture
    • captures thinking
    • focuses on important ideas
  7. Applicable to many careers/life situations- fosters the executive function skills

Kevin Thorn says that sketchnoting is “A form of visual writing by expressing ideas, concepts, and important thoughts in a meaningful flow by listening, processing, and transferring what you hear by sketching either by analog or digital.”

It can happen as a directed activity or by personal choice. Sylvia Duckworth states that “Sketchnoting is purposeful doodling while listening, reading or watching something. It is also called visual note-taking.”

There seems to be no one way to do sketchnoting. Baughcum’s book provides some great guidelines and suggestions. Her YouTube channel offers some great supports as well.

I also enjoy joining in with her #doodleandchat live sessions to develop my “doodle” voice. It’s where I have discovered my two learning mascots Freddie the Frenchie and Henrietta the Hedgehog. I continue to look forward to adding other learning mascots.Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 8.25.45 PM

I am just beginning this adventure. I look forward to learning and sharing with learners especially student learners. I am excited for how it provides a platform for expression and their individual voice.

I am still working on remembering that sketchnotes are not about art or perfection. Sketchnotes are about ideas. And for me, they are also a practice of self-care.

If you are wanting to learn more about sketchnoting follow on Twitter @carrie_baughcum, @mauelherrera33, @sylviaduckworth to start.

The sketchnoting community is very welcoming. The #doodlechat community in particular is the most welcoming, encouraging, and compassionate virtual community I have ever stumbled onto. And I am so glad I did… for my teachers, my students, and ME!

Published by The Bulldog Educator

Mom of 2, wife of Eric for 25 years, Educator for 20 years. Passionate about everything in life. I love my community. Proud to be a mom, wife, and educator. I write two blogs one is my educational ponderings at my blog "The Bulldog Educator" (www.thebulldogedu.com) and the other is "The Wilson Family Stories at the Razorback Ranch" (www.thewilsonrazorbackranch.com).

2 thoughts on “Exploring the World of Sketchnoting

  1. KIRRRRRRSTTTTEEENNNN!!!! I just want to hug you so!!! I can not even begin to express how incredibly special all of these words are!!! Even more…I don’t even have words for what an incredibly special part of doodle and chat you are and how amazingly lucky each of your students are to have you!!!!


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