#SOL19 Day 18 Spark! Picture This.

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 5.28.56 PMFor the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.


Picture This: Reader Response Sketchnote Spark!

Some of the conversations I’ve had with teachers around reading so many books is that we often forget a lot of the plot after a time and then our conversations and recommendations are often not as rich as we wish they were. When I am reading a book with students or that I want to discuss with them I will sometimes quick write a sketchnote after each chapter (or section) that synthesizes the big ideas and captures the story arc. These literally take 2 or 3 minutes and I often lay them out in a comic book/graphic novel form .

Here’s an example of this type of sketchnote quick write :


I just use a composition book and a pen. I went back to add the chapter numbers in orange. If you can draw stick people, circles, and squares you can do this kind of doodle. I simply add a frame after I finish a chapter or two and use a combination of pictures and words to capture the important events. Once you get into this, you’ll be amazed at how much you visualize as you read in order to think about how you’ll represent what you are reading/comprehending. We are doing this with some classes of students this year, but I didn’t get permission to share their work yet so you’ll have to settle for mine as an example.

Give it a try. I’d love to see this SPARK some fun reader responses!

29 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 18 Spark! Picture This.

  1. I’ve tried sketchnoting before when attending PD, but get hung up in the details. The closest I’ve come is using different colors of ink to highlight points I want to remember, and using an A to mark actions I want to take. I will forward this post to myself at work to use it with students!

    1. I usually don’t use multiple inks or do any details DURING my notetaking, but as I revisit, reread, and reflect I add in details or color it in. I’ love to know how it goes if you try it.

  2. Sketchnoting is so much fun! I never thought to use it as a quick write format though! Thanks for the brilliant idea

  3. Love this as a way to check on my students’ understanding of their reading without filtering through writing. And your idea of using this for my own memory of books is great, too! Thanks!

  4. What a great idea! I have to say, “I don’t remember this book well, but I remember that I liked it” all the time! This seems like a great idea to help combat that issue down the road.

  5. You are such an inspiration! I attended your session on sketchnoting at ILA last summer and have been using it with my students. One student, in particular, has responded so well to sketchnoting and I will definitely share your example from today’s slice! I initially found myself getting wrapped up in the minutiae, but have learned to focus on getting the basics down and returning to enhance the sketchnote.

    1. Oh, thank you Jennifer for letting me know. I’d love to see some of their work sometime. YES, get the big ideas down and then go back (if you choose) to add ‘minutiae’ as your reflect and ponder your notes. Great way to invite revisiting!

    1. YES! Then kids can SEE how each reader makes their own unique meaning and comprehends through their own lenses and experiences. Fascinating glimpse into their thinking!

  6. Thanks for letting me know that I don’t need to be an artist but can still use stick people to sketch note. I will screen shot your model and use it as a practice for me.

    1. After the SOL is over I plan to blog about my progress over time and show some earlier sketcchnotes–you will see that my progression is definitely NOT about being a realistic artist!

  7. Oh my goodness – used this with my class today – demonstrated my own attempt to sketch a book I am reading & gave them time to do their own. Fascinating. Will definitely slice about it – have to get some pictures of their work…

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