Sketchnoting in the Library

How to sketchnote
Sketchnotes, visual note taking, allows students to creatively demonstrate their thinking and learning. Through this visual note-taking style, students can add text, icons, and drawings in a creative manner.

To sketchnote, students can live sketch or post sketch.

Live Sketching: Students create a sketchnote as they listen to a video or lecture.
Post Sketch: Students create a sketchnote after reading or listening.

Students can sketchnote with a pencil and paper or using a variety of apps on a mobile device like an iPad. My favorite is the Notability app ($$). Other free apps are available that provide similar features including InkflowAdobe Draw, or Paper 53.

Ideas to Incorporate Sketch Notes

  • Students locate and read an article. After reading, students create a sketchnote representing the main ideas. Share the sketchnotes with the class to view additional ideas and thoughts.
  • Use sketchnotes as a research log. Each day students create quick notes of where they are in the process.
  • In lieu of a traditional short paper, students create sketchnotes synthesizing the information.
  • Locate a TED Talk that relates to the curriculum. Live sketch the talk as a whole class, small group, or individual activity.
  • Students sketchnote the theme or events from a novel.
  • Students research a historical event and develop a sketchnote that addresses the significance and connection to today.

Getting Started

View the resources available. Sylvia Duckworth has several tutorials, links, and examples. Many educators are blogging about how they use sketch noting with a variety of grade levels. Check out the Twitter hashtag #sketchnotes to view other ideas.

Practice with a TED talk or article. Click here to view TED talks for education.

Locate many examples available and post on the library walls or library website for students to view. Encourage students to develop their own style.

Create opportunities for students to practice. A quick way to get started involves students visually sketching a favorite quote with text, icons, and more. Help students develop a style–provide a list of example icons, fonts, and more.


Syliva Duckworth’s Sketchnoting for Beginners

Kathy Shrock’s Sketchnoting Links

Have you incorporated sketchnoting into your instructional toolkit? Let’s us know how you got started.

Author: Becca Munson

Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 24 years of experience in education. Becca is the Coordinator for Library Systems in the Blue Valley School District. Previously, she was school librarian at Blue Valley West High School. She opened two buildings in Blue Valley and spent some time as an Ed Tech Specialist before returning to libraries. Becca supports over 45 librarians and support staff as they work to fulfill the mission of flexible scheduling, collaboration, and literacy.

Categories: Blog Topics, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models, Technology

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1 reply

  1. If difficult to get time within content area classes, an idea might be to host a lunchtime Sketchnoting learning event. Another idea is to offer this learning experience to Language Learning Disabled, English Language Learning or Study Skils teachers/students. I recently contacted an LLD teacher who also happens to be extremely artistic, (and so doubly appreciative of this concept), to collaborate both in his classroom and during his lunch period. Will let you know how it goes!

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