Friday, April 12, 2013

2nd Graders Go Wild For Sketchnotes

Source: 2nd Grade Student - ASIDE, 2013
We are so excited about the sketchnotes in this post by our second grade students. Our innovative colleague and friend, Stefani Rosenthal, was thoroughly intrigued by the process of visual note-taking and wanted to try it to see how this would help reinforce her students' understanding of different types of communities. Her forward-thinking approach and willingness to collaborate in trying something new paid off in helping her students learn.

Without making it too complicated, we gave the students the basics about using words, images and design to arrange their pages. Essentially, we wanted them to understand how the verbal and visual components worked together to explain the information. Since this was their first attempt at visual note-taking, it was important to give the students an organizational structure. Even though they were given some guidelines, we provided plenty of options. What we did not want was a strict set of rules to make the students do it all the same way.

Source: 2nd Grade Student - ASIDE, 2013
Visual note-taking is personal. Choice and decision-making as to what makes sense for each way of learning are keys to the process. It defeats the purpose if the outcome is scripted.

Design and layout were up to the students. It was important for them to take ownership of the information and to display it in a way that made sense to map out their knowledge.

Source: 2nd Grade Student - ASIDE, 2013
Perhaps the most amazing thing to watch was the sheer quietness that overtook the room as they worked on their pages. You could have heard a pin drop. The kids' concentration on the process of creating their pages was truly astounding.

At the end of the lesson, they were so excited to discuss their work, and they easily shared their ideas to demonstrate their understanding of what they learned. They not only loved the visual note-taking process but also had fun doing it, and the content stuck.

The best part was that the students went home that day talking about sketchnoting. Once again, we couldn’t ask for more as teachers.


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