When my vocabulary lessons fell a little flat, I researched ways to make definitions stick. I wanted a screen-free activity, but I didn’t want worksheets. I turned to sketchnotes, discovering Sunni Brown and Sylvia Duckworth. Students loved the tutorials I provided with tips to make their drawings “recognizable over realistic” and “memorable instead of a masterpiece” when paired with new vocabulary words.
Brown’s TED Talk (Doodlers, unite!) reminded me why this process works. She’s a visual thinking consultant who said, “Illustrating information we’re trying to absorb is most effective when we utilize more than one learning modality (reading/writing, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) coupled with an emotional experience.”
Duckworth’s book was on the Learning Support classroom shelf. What an accessible and invaluable resource for the students and me.
Below, a fifth-grader’s illustration. Elixir is from the vocab list I created from the audiobook, Bloom by Kenneth Oppel, we’re reading in class.