Wednesday, June 19, 2013

4th Grade Sketchnotes, Visual Mapping, And Primary Sources

Source: 4th Grade Sketchnotes, ASIDE, 2013
Using sketchnotes with our students this year exceeded our expectations. Whether it was with second graders studying communities, or third graders sketchnoting about the rainforest, the results were the same. With our fourth grade, we used sketchnotes to categorize the types of primary sources. The students displayed the same excitement in collecting notes in a different way that included images as visual clues.
We started with an introduction to the three basics of sketchnoting, which are to create an organizational structure for the content, to use a font hierarchy to elevate the importance of text, and to draw simple sketches to connect to the notes. We stressed that each person's sketchnotes would be different, because it had to do with an individual's point of view. It was a personal approach to their way of making the information memorable. They loved the idea of choice in designing the content that best suited them.

Source: 4th Grade Sketchnotes, ASIDE, 2013
It was no surprise to see them jump right into the sketchnote process. It was equally amazing to see how this method once again reinforced the learning. The students' recall about primary sources was evident throughout the semester, long after their sketchnotes were completed.

They not only remembered the various categories that primary sources fall into, such as published, unpublished, oral, and visual, but they also understood the wide range of places to find information. It opened their eyes to over 70 types of primary sources that can help with historical research.

Source: 4th Grade Sketchnotes, ASIDE, 2013
As a culminating piece to this lesson, the students bring to class their own primary sources from home. Again, it's their choice, and the types of items include birth certificates, library cards, trophies, diaries, photographs, movie tickets, and more.

For fun, we make believe we are at a conference of historians, 100 years later, who are trying to figure out what these items actually tell us. The kids get a kick out of it. At the same time, it makes them realize how difficult it can be to decipher information depending on the type of primary source.

Since we have a school archive, we also take the students to see some of the older artifacts and documents about the school. They are fascinated by the memorabilia and try to use the skills they learned to decode what they are seeing. It makes it real.

Source: 4th Grade Sketchnotes, ASIDE, 2013
For other examples of sketchnoting, please see our other posts.


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