So often when I visit classrooms I see some new and innovative strategies to engage students. I came across one of those strategies just the other day. I walked into a Social Studies class and noticed students drawing pictures and using colored markers. I asked one of the students what they were doing and was told that she was creating “Sketch Notes”. I asked the teacher about sketch notes and she informed me that she first noticed sketch notes on Pinterest.

n example of a class sketch note.

n example of a class sketch note.

Sketch Notes encourage students to combine a small illustration that represents an important concept of the lesson with 3-5 facts that are associated with the illustration. Students in this class really enjoyed the concept of Sketch Notes. Students commented that the illustrations combined with a few facts made taking notes a little more fun. You and I both know that if you can make something a little more enjoyable for students they are more likely to internalize the content. Speaking from personal experience, when I have something like a picture or drawing I can associate with information I am more likely to make a connection and remember the content.

ketch Note Sample.

ketch Note Sample.

Posted above are several examples of Sketch Notes. Sketch Notes were created by students utilizing their imaginations to connect with the content they were reviewing in class. Looking at these examples I notice that the variety of sketch notes equals the variety of students in the class. We have a diverse student body and these work samples represent the diverse imaginations of our students.

Sketch Notes: An opportunity for differentiated instruction?

Sketch Notes: An opportunity for differentiated instruction?

Looking at these Sketch Notes also makes me think of differentiated instruction and how this strategy provides me and possibly others with an example of the illusive differentiated lesson. When I visit classes I am often asking myself how I can observe differentiated instruction. What does differentiated instruction look like? What things do teachers create or do that represents a differentiated lesson? So, when I observed this strategy I wanted to share.

Sketch Notes: A chance to share and create.

Sketch Notes: A chance to share and create.

Not sure how you would respond, but I certainly have an opinion of which note taking strategy would best suite my learning style. If you have found this information to be useful, please leave a comment and let me know your opinions. If you have any suggestions or questions I would appreciate those as well. If you have specific needs or if you would like more detailed information regarding my experiences, please contact me at >sean.kelly@douglas.k12.ga.us.