I sketchnote, you sketchnotes… you sketchnoterez!

What I like most about the CréaCamp training offered by the École branchée is the tolerance that I have to develop in the face of my educational discomfort. What a privilege to give yourself time for creation! This is what I experienced, once again, during Marie-Andrée Ouimet d'EscouadeÉDU's workshop on the sketchnote.

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What I like most about the CréaCamp training offered by the École branchée is the tolerance that I have to develop in the face of my educational discomfort. I love putting myself in this situation because that's where I have to push my limits and create. What a privilege to give yourself time for creation! This is what I experienced, once again, during the workshop proposed by the facilitator Marie-Andrée Ouimet ofEDU Squad on the croquinote.  

what is a sketchnote?

Croquinote (well known by its English name sketchnote), it is a visual map produced from important ideas that the brain has retained following a lesson, a conference, readings or memorable moments. This method assumes that seeing, hearing and thinking at the same time allows us to make our learning more effective and complete. Our brain is indeed fully mobilized during such an exercise.  

Here is an example (my first!) Related to the theme of feudalism in history:

It is also important to mention that with this approach one should in no way judge art or talent. In fact, it is more the content than the container that interests us. What should be taken out of this is that the person producing a sketchnote uses the drawing to improve and analyze their understanding, and possibly to explain it.

The establishment

According to Marie-Andrée Ouimet, everyone can sketchnoter. No need for talent in drawing, only creativity and a support to draw. First, I would reassure the students by using the same technique that she used with us during the presentation of the workshop, that is to make us draw a circle, a square, a line, a triangle and a point. Anyone is able to reproduce these shapes, and from them it is possible to draw anything.  

For the production of the sketchnote, here are some easy-to-use applications:

Whatever your choice of application, plan a time for the students to become familiar with it. You can use tutorials or let the students explore on their own (I'm voting for that option!).

You don't have access to digital tools? the sketchnote can also be done on paper, quite simply, or in a notebook dedicated to receive future works. Warning! We don't throw anything away. There may be drafts, but never a "bad" output.

Here are some examples from the class of teachers with experience in elementary and secondary school:

Possible avenues to explore

The cool thing about this approach is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to use it. In fact, the important thing is that the work done can help the students. However, depending on the subject, there may be lessons that lend themselves better to it.

In French, it may be interesting to read a story aloud to the students and then have them draw what they remember from it. They can also summarize a text, a novel, an article or any other kind of text, taking care to mark the links between the ideas. Why not plan an oral presentation as well? Instead of the usual PowerPoint, the idea of imaging the content of the presentation according to the given instructions can be original.

In the social world, precise vocabulary often poses a problem for students. Therefore, creating an illustrated dictionary can be a good idea to verify that our class has grasped the material. Also, it may be interesting to present material to the students and then reproduce it in a sketchnote. In the same vein, we can ask them to read a text, watch a video or interpret a document and then draw key concepts that they will have to draw later.  

In short, sky's the limit!  Let your imagination be your guide and ... good sketchnoting!

Here is my second sketchnote on the representation of my training:

Discover Marie-Andrée Ouimet's website, The madness of the sketchnote.

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About the Author

Laurie Couture
Laurie Couture
A high school French teacher and contributor to various blogs, Laurie Couture is passionate about writing and for the innovative aspect of education: how can you change your ways of doing things to improve your method? She loves to discover, discuss and develop about convincing practices related to technologies. Using digital technology, she aspires to set up projects and documents responding to current trends and proposing new approaches.

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