These last few months, I’ve been focusing on improving my sketchnote skills. Part of that work was reading several books on the tis topic for educators (see my review of My Pencil Made Me Do It). Many general books on sketchnoting focus on the basics of how to sketchnote, which is awesome. I love using sketchnotes as a professional development tool. But what about teaching students how to sketchnote? How do sketches fit in with the curriculum? Nichole Carter’s book, Sketchnoting in the Classroom, delves deeply into this very subject, with lots of examples of practical ways to bring sketchnotes into the classroom. While not geared directly towards librarians, a lot of these ideas could also work great during collaborations with our teachers.
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Sketchnoting in the Classroom: A Practical Guide to Deepening Student Learning by Nichole Carter
The Basics of Sketchnoting
Like many books on sketchnoting, Nichole starts off by explaining some of the basic techniques and strategies. Examples of things like containers, fonts, color and other aspects are discussed. She also looks at the differences between analog sketchnotes and digital and makes a great argument to give both a shot and see which works better for you (and your individual students). Throughout the book, Nichole also offers ideas for how to introduce sketchnoting to students and how to help them build confidence in their skills.
**Related Post: My 9 Favorite Tools for Analog Sketchnotes
Brain research and Standards
Dual coding theory and metacognition are common phrases in books on this topic and with good reason. There is solid research behind the power of sketchnoting to help us retain and process information. I love that this book also digs into the various ISTE, NCTE and Common Core standards and how sketchnoting can fit into these areas. In many schools and districts, you have to be able to tie anything new into how it supports the standards. This book will help you to build your case.
Sketching in Content Areas
The greatest strength of this book is the breakdown of how to incorporate sketchnoting into various content areas. Nichole breaks it down into science, social studies, English language arts and math. She provides examples of lesson plans for each content area and they cover a broad range of grade levels. These examples are a great starter point for educators looking for a way to utilize sketchnotes in their classes.
Read This Book: Sketchnoting in the Classroom
Nichole Carter’s book is an excellent resource for educators looking to find ways to bring sketchnoting into their classrooms. She provides excellent ideas and examples to get your students started sketching. If you’re looking for more of a basic how-to sketchnote, start with Mike Rhode’s The Sketchnote Handbook (my review here).