Sketchnotes and doodling: Art journaling follow up #AprilBlogADay

A little over a week ago, I shared a post about art journaling in the classroom. Since then, I have made some progress in coming up with a plan to incorporate art journals into my classroom. Social media is a magical place. A few days ago, I was perusing my Twitter feed when I happened on this tweet:


Which led me to the linked website, which has a fun course on visual note taking based on the four C’s of creativity, comprehension, communication, and connections. The course is written by Jill Gough (from the tweet above) who just happens to be an educator in Atlanta. Through some Twitter discussion and looking at the course site, I have found some additional resources that will be helpful in developing a sketching/art journal/visual note activities for my students.

  • Brain Doodles: A site with tutorials on doodling to help students learn and think; the information is aimed at high school students and includes information for educators to incorporate lessons into the classroom.
  • The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power of the to Think Differently by Sunni Brown: This is a book shows how to unlock our natural doodling abilities to help us learn and create. I have ordered the book and am currently awaiting its delivery. However, I’ve already had some interaction with the author via Twitter. I’m telling you; social media is magical.


  • The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking by Mike Rohde: I actually already have this book. I got it last year and used it with my sixth grade students a few times. Many of my students really enjoyed being able to take notes visually instead of just with words. I haven’t worked through the entire book yet, so that is something I would like to do in the near future.
  • CommNatural: This site hosted by Bethann G. Merkle has a lot of resources of using art in the science classroom. I’ve had a great Twitter conversation with her, and I hope to be able to incorporate some of the resources from her site into my sketching experiment.

So what’s next? I am trying to determine the best way to begin incorporating this into my classroom. I want to do some beta testing and data collecting this year before the school year ends. However, I really need to get some planning done on this ASAP. Our last day of school is one month from today, and there are lots of tests and exams between now and then. However, I did get an inexpensive “sketchbook” for each of my students in one of my classes. I am wrapping up my current unit the middle of next week, and I am hoping to incorporate our doodling experiment as we start our final unit on gas laws. I am also hoping to do some extension activities with this class to introduce them to some organic and biochemistry to preview the AP biology class they will take in the fall.

I will continue to update as I continue on this journey. I am hoping the beta test goes well so that I can work on a full integration of sketchnotes/doodling/sketchbooks into my classroom next year.