Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sketchnotes & Comics Workshop for Students & Teachers


Recently I've had the pleasure of presenting workshops for teachers and kids on Sketchnotes and Comics.  After an introductory presentation last week for teachers, we tried it with kids today at the Endless Mountains Writing Project camp for youth -- Writing with Power!

We've heard for years that the use of graphic organizers is an effective research-based teaching strategy.  Both sketchnotes and comics provide simple tools students can use to create their own graphic organizers as they listen and learn.

We looked at some of the sketchnotes and tips from master sketchnoters Mike Rohde and others.  As I presented information, ideas and tips, students made their own first page of sketchnotes.  Many teachers also tried their hand at making their first page of sketchnotes.

Studies have found that even if you're just doodling while you're listening, you'll remember more.  Better yet, let's take advantage of the Picture Superiority Effect, which demonstrates that pictures combined with text promotes significantly better memory retention.
Teacher Sketchnotes by Ms. Winters

In this post are a few of the first sketchnotes created by students (and a teacher) as they constructed their own visuals that illustrated concepts being presented.

Sketchnotes by Nate Wales, age 11


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Beowulf Comics


My interest in  Beowulf began with my interest in Tolkien.  I've long been a fan of his well-known works (LotR, Hobbit), but have been following up with some of his work that is harder to read (Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, History of Middle-Earth).  These aren't as immediately accessible as his other work, but I find that as I work through them and study them, my understanding and appreciation of his work grows. My goal is to read everything written by Tolkien, including his academic writing, so I began his Translation and Commentary of Beowulf.  Again, this is not a work to breeze through, but I have enjoyed reading and rereading, and making notes as I read. For me this also includes drawing!

If you know me at all, you know that's how I think and process information.  I've also noticed that my eleventh graders come to art class talking about Beowulf as assigned reading.  I hope that my example of visualizing and illustrating selected passages encourages them to approach their reading in a similar way.  

I'm experimenting with a different style of "coloring" -- using pencil shading techniques over a line drawing. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Grit & Growth Mindset Sketchnotes

Ever since I was a high school student in the 80s, I found that it was much easier to pay attention during lectures and remember what was said if I drew as I listened.  Usually, for me that means cartoons!  Years later I discover Sketchnotes and a whole Sketchnote Army of likeminded individuals.  I created these sketchnotes live during a presentation on Grit and Growth Mindset at our teacher inservice day.