Off The Digital Shelf: Sketchnotes
During the first week of school my third grader had a worksheet where he had to share his favorite things (city, animal etc...) When I checked his work I noticed he had put only a letter or two as a response to each question. I told him I'd scribe for him so we can get full responses on the sheet. As we filled out the sheet he referred to the letters he had written to kick start his memory of what his answer was. In essence, my little dyslexic had developed a form of short hand. I already had the book, The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde on my reading list and moved it up to this week in hopes of learning more ways to help my two dyslexic kiddos get ideas on paper.
I found the book really helpful! I got it in e-book format and had both my boys (and my husband) look through it.
Following are my favorite tips from the book:
- Don't worry about how detailed your drawing is. A simple illustration is just as effective as a detailed drawing.
- Develop your own icon library. Maybe a drawing of an anchor represents a the main point of the lecture.
- Be prepared to use arrows, dividing lines, and typography to show relationships between ideas.
- Come to the lecture prepared with portable supplies.
- Sit somewhere with good lighting.
- Arrive early and start by creating a good title for the sketchnote featuring the speakers name and topic.
- Look for clues on the format of the lecture so you can arrange your notes on the page. (see illustration below) For example if it's a panel you might want to use the "skyscraper" if it's a historical timeline you may want to use the "path" etc...
There's a few things that I really like about this technique. First by making the title in advance you're prepared to explore the topic and if you illustrate the title you're already thinking about your existing knowledge in that subject. I also really like that you're looking for clues as to how the lecture is structured. That helps you organize your thoughts and retain the information. Then, of course, I really enjoy the drawing part of the process. I know many visual learners who listen better when their hands are busy drawing. This connects this drawing urge with a focus on the topic.
Below is my *very messy & not edited* first attempt at Sketchnoting. I created it on my ipad within the Noteability app. I first used the "radial" format then added a "path" to connect a second "radial" point.