guest blogger Sarah Wood Godfrey-Lee Public Schools

Make Your Thinking Visible

sketchnotes godfrey lee sarah wood

“Wow!  That is so cool!  I wish I could do that!  Too bad I am a terrible artist and I can barely draw a stick figure…”

This was just part of my thoughts this summer when I was introduced to the concept of sketchnotes.  Super cool, very interesting, BUT…I could never do anything of the sorts as I am not an artist and DEFINITELY can’t draw.  I was drawn to the concept and the potential it had for supporting student learning though, so I loaded up on books from the library and scoured the internet for ideas, tutorials, and any examples I could find.

What I discovered is that I definitely CAN sketchnote, despite my lack of experience with drawing.  The big idea that I came to realize is that anyone can make sketchnoting possible as long as one has thoughts, ideas, or concepts that he or she would like to record.

Sketchnotes are a way of bringing the verbal world into the visual and capturing thoughts, ideas, and key concepts through words and pictures.  The great thing about sketchnoting is that it can be very personal and one’s notes don’t necessarily have to be something that can be easily interpreted by someone else.  They help support personalized and differentiated learning and allow students to represent content in a manner that is meaningful to them.

Sketchnotes also help students understand and remember key concepts and ideas.  The process supports increased information retention and recall, information comprehension, and allows students to learn through multiple modes (visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic).  One of the great things about sketchnoting is that it can be done with whatever medium you have available – pencil and paper, computer, or on a tablet with a stylus (or even your finger!).

K-12 Student Sketchnoting Presentation

Below is a presentation that I put together for sharing some ideas for introducing the concept of sketchnoting to students (this could be done in any grade K-12).  The great thing about sketchnoting is that there isn’t a right way or wrong way to do it.  Many of the ideas shared in this presentation are introductory ideas for introducing the concept of sketchnotes so that as students become more comfortable in listening, isolating key concepts, and transferring those concepts into their own written interpretations, the sketchnoting process will be familiar and comfortable.

Click HERE to view my Sketchnotes Presentation.
sketchnotes presentation godfrey lee sarah wood

Additional Resources

Some additional resources I have organized that might be helpful:

Sketchnotes allows students to make their thinking visible, it is important as the teacher/facilitator that you model and be willing to share your own work.  I am by no means an expert and have learned so much from the teachers and students I have worked with on sketchnoting so far!  If you would like to see student examples of a session I facilitated for 8th graders on sketchnotes, you can check out my blog here.

Happy sketchnoting!
Sarah Wood
Technology & Media Integration Specialist
Godfrey-Lee Public Schools
Twitter: @woodsar

About Our Guest Blogger Sarah Wood is a Technology and Media Integration Specialist for Godfrey-Lee Public Schools that has a passion for photography, being creative, crafts, baking, and anything "EdTechy".  You can follow her on her website ( or Twitter (@woodsar).  Like what she has to share there?  You won't want to miss her upcoming 12 Days of EdTech Cheer for twelve days of self-directed professional development!

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