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The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast | ELA

Dec 7, 2023

This week I want to talk what to do if you're trying to help your students take advantage of the benefits of sketchnotes but they're stuck.

We’re going to dig into a special video series by Sylvia Duckworth called “Sketchnote Fever” and how it can help.

Students often struggle at first with sketchnotes, because they feel ill-equipped to add icons and doodles to their notes if they aren’t natural artists. Someone probably told them when they were 6 that they were bad at art, and they’ve integrated that into their identity by high school.

HOWEVER. Sylvia has a wonderful series of short videos teaching by demonstration how to draw simple icons to help illustrate ideas. If you take a few minutes before a time when students will be taking notes and play one of her super short videos, like “School icons,” “Subject icons,” “frames,” or “banners,” students will have a chance to practice these easy icons and build confidence in how to integrate them. 

Ask your students to keep a special place in their notes where they always draw their icons from the videos, so they slowly build a visual library they can refer to - then REMIND them to refer to it! 

Little by little, students will become more proficient at creating meaningful sketches to complement their text notes. Which means that they will become better at making their notes memorable through the critical thinking and dual coding that happens when translate what they hear into words and imagery that work together to make meaning. 

So this week, I want to highly recommend that you follow THIS LINK  and check out Sylvia Duckworth’s amazing “Sketchnote Fever” series. You’ll discover 34 super quick videos and printable handouts of the icons featured in every single one. Isn’t that amazing? Thank you, Sylvia!

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