Sketchnotes on Evolution of English

LESSON OVERVIEW: According to Sketchnote Army, sketchnotes “are as much a method of note taking as they are a form of creative expression.” I think they are fun way to give your memory a boost and to help you visualize the main ideas of whatever you are learning.

For this lesson, you will be making your own sketch notes about the TED video “The Evolution of English.”

STEP ONE: Skim this overview of how to take sketchnotes from Smashing Magazine: How to Get Started with Sketchnotes.

STEP TWO: Check out some examples.

  • Skim the collection at Sketchnote Army. Which notes are the best? How do the artists highlight key concepts?
  • Second, to prove to you don’t need a whole bunch of fancy colors (or fine artistic skills), take a look at the sketchnotes I Tweeted last summer from an American Library Association conference. I had a red pen, a black pen, and two higlighters. These are first drafts.

STEP THREE: Watch the TED video “Evolution of English” one time without sketching anything. Think about the key words and key concepts explained in the video. You will highlight them in your notes (using color, size, or illustrations).

You can find the video here: TED video on the Evolution of English


STEP FOUR: Open your reading-writing notebook to the next clean page in the minilessions section (I believe it is p. 14). Play the video again and start your sketchnotes. Draw / write in your reading-writing notebook. Pause the video as needed. Remember, the point is to capture the key ideas, not every single word.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Now that you have practiced with Cornell notes and sketchnotes, what are the pros and cons of each method? Which way helps you as a learner? Does it depend on the subject? Part of being a good student is knowing the ways you learn best. I hope you will consider adding sketchnotes to your toolkit of strategies that work for you.

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