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Mike Rohde, creator: Designer, author of The Sketchnote Handbook & Workbook, and illustrator, living in Wisconsin.

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Sketchnotes in History Class with Brent Pillsbury

I received a note a little while ago from history teacher Brent Pillsbury, who mentioned that he uses sketchnotes in class for students to share what they are learning. He wrote:

I am a history teacher who loves to doodle and draw. I grew up drawing all sorts of things all over my notes. In the last couple years of teaching I have decided to implement what I call the GIFT. The gift is a one page visual of what we have learned for the previous chapter."

"I am glad they are using other parts of their brains and not just writing down worthless notes that do not mean anything. The students really take pride in their work as I have really enjoyed helping them with these. I also hand them out for each unit so they get mine and I get theirs."

Here are some of the student's sample work on World War I:

Ch7 0
Ch7 sec2
Ch7 sec2 B
Here's Mr. P's History Reference page for students, if you're curious. Love all the video references.

Great work guys!

Reader Comments (3)

Yes! Another teacher using this approach! I started this with my high school English students this past school year with great success! (Here is my link:
I now have students consider this as a primary approach for note taking , especially if they are truly visual learners.

June 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCary Tyler
I love your examples! Did you use an app or an iPad to model this visual note taking process?
September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTanya
I am intrigued by this approach and would like to try in for my upcoming unit on WW 1. How do you assess sketchnotes? Do you use a rubric? Thanks!
October 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Carlson

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