Ever hear of sketchnoting? It’s a way of taking notes which is part words and part pictures, arrows, colors, and any other kind of graphics that help students remember what they are learning. According to a 2018 study,* students who used sketchnoting were almost twice as likely to remember compared to students who wrote words only.
Suppose a teacher is explaining the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Here is a sketchnote of important facts to remember. Notice how sketchnoting takes advantage of a student’s visual learning skills and in this case, artistic learning skills.
For more about sketchnoting, go to https://www.edutopia.org/article/how-and-why-introduce-visual-note-taking-your-students?utm_content=linkpos1&utm_campaign=weekly-2021-04-14&utm_source=edu-legacy&utm_medium=email
*The Surprisingly Powerful Influence of Drawing on Memory by Myra A. Fernandes, Jeffrey D. Wammes, Melissa E. Meade. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0963721418755385
Drawing pictures is almost twice as powerful a memory tool as is reading or writing, according to the George Lucas Educational Foundation called Edutopia*.
When you draw, your kinesthetic , visual and linguistic brain centers all work. Your brain processes the information you draw in ways which “interact,” forming strong bonds and deeper memory.
How to take advantage of drawing to improve memory:
One way is to draw when you take notes and write rough drafts. You can do this no matter how good or how poor an artist you are. In a science class, for example, to show the water cycle, draw the sun with water below and arrows from the water heading up toward the sun. Write “evaporation” next to that image. Next to it draw clouds in the sky with rain drops falling out of them. Next to it write “condensation.
Another way is to use mind webs (sometimes called spider webs or concept maps) to show how concepts are connected. For example, draw and label the topic in the center, and then draw spokes out from there. At the end of each spoke, draw another picture and label it with simple annotations.
Use interactive notebooks, that is spiral or composition notebooks in which you take notes with pictures which your draw yourself or which you cut out and paste. You can draw or paste timelines. You can paste vocabulary cards which you can flip to see definitions or pictures of definitions. You can draw or paste political cartoons on the subject you are studying.
Use visuals to show data—timelines, sequence ovals with arrows, graphs, and maps.
*For more information and a cleverly illustrated version of the above ideas, go online to Edutopia News.