Sketchnoting In The Classroom (Update #1) - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - education, sketchnotes, visual note-taking, doodling, visual learners

Sketchnoting In The Classroom (Update #1)

Time for an update on the new resource that I’m working on this year: Sketchnoting In The Classroom!

Now that I’ve been working on this resource for about a month and a half, I wanted to update you on how it’s coming together and get your feedback to help guide future development.

Component #1: Sketchnoting Skills

There are three specific components that make up the core of this resource kit.

The first focuses on individual sketchnoting skills. For each skill I’ll be making a short 5-minuted video along with a follow-up activity.

Here’s a list of the skills that are include so far:

  • Handwritten fonts
  • Arrows
  • Commonly-used icons
  • Containers
  • Faces
  • Stick figures
  • Scenes
  • Dividers
  • Color
  • Lists
  • Empathy maps
  • Filtering
  • Synthesizing

Each of those skills will be explored in an individual and independent video that has these parts to it:

  1. A brief Introduction
  2. A section called Where Have I Seen That Before? to connect that skill to life experiences that students have had
  3. A section on How To Use It While Taking Notes
  4. A section on How To Make The Marks
  5. And finally, I’ll Turn It Over To The Instructor who can either use the follow-up activity that I provide or introduce their own activity

The idea with these individual, independent videos is that they’ll provide flexibility in how you use them in your classroom. You can introduce one new skill a week, maybe a couple each week, or even one every day if you want a more condensed exposure to sketchnoting.

I’ll also be providing suggested sequences to help you introduce these skills in an order that makes sense and that builds on itself.

Component #2: Sketchnoting Processes

Next, we’ve got sketchnoting processes, which will encourage students to combine a specific set of individual sketchnoting skills into a comprehensive note-taking process.

Some examples of the processes I’ll describe include:

Each process will get its own video in which I’ll lay out the process and highlight which specific skills take center stage for that process.

These are videos that you’ll likely want to weave in at specific times within your curriculum, likely either at the start of a unit so that you can use that process throughout it, or at the end when you are reviewing and pulling everything together.

In addition to those multi-purpose processes, I’d also like to address specific applications such as taking visual notes from a text book, how to plan out a paper, and how to develop a presentation.

If you’ve got other suggestions for specific applications I’d love to hear them! Drop me a line on Facebook, YouTube, or via email if you’re already a part of this pilot program.

Those first two components – Sketchnoting Skills and Sketchnoting Processes – include videos and activities designed to be used directly with your students.

The third component is directed toward you, the instructor.

Component #3: Subject-Specific Sketchnoting

Within this component I’ll be diving into each of these subjects:

  • Social studies
  • Science
  • Math
  • Language arts
  • Physical education
  • Art
  • Foreign language
  • Journalism
  • Cross-discipline

For each subject I’ll make a video that shares how you might use specific skills and processes within your classroom, both as an instructional tool and as a tool that your students can use while learning that subject.

Within this third component we’ll be combining the individual skills from component one and the sketchnoting processes from component two into subject-specific applications that are well-aligned with the core themes and learning goals of that subject.

Building From Here

Sketchnoting In The Classroom (Update #1) - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - education, sketchnotes, visual note-taking, doodling, visual learners

So these three component are what I’m now focused on building out, along the the card deck of quick prompts that I mentioned in the announcement video.

If you have any comments or suggestions related to this update, please do let me know!

And if you’re not yet part of the pilot program but are excited about all of the resources that I just described, you can learn more about it here.

I hope that you found this update useful, and I look forward to sharing another one with you soon!


– Doug


Want To Dig Deeper?

If you’re new to the idea of sketchnoting and excited to develop more visual thinking tools, I think you’d enjoy our foundational course An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking.

If you’d like to make sketchnoted videos like the one you saw here, we’ve got a course for that too! Check out How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

And if you’re an educator interested in bringing visual note-taking into your classroom, check out Sketchnoting In The Classroom.