Sketchnoting to ignite creativity

In New Zealand, we've had a rocky start to the school year. We've been impacted by some significant weather events, which has led to the media describing a new phenomenon called rain anxiety. Instead of launching directly into curriculum work, I got my students to sketchnote their proposed 2023 learning journey, including their goals and ambitions for my subject. The main reason is that sketchnoting is a great way to provide visual notes, and is strangely meditative and calming.

In fact, I compiled a book called Start Sketchnoting because of how sketchnoting can benefit teachers and students


Cover of the book Start Sketchnoting

Other ways we could integrate sketchnoting into our lessons are:

  1. Meaningful planning for essays or writing
  2. Character profiles
  3. Selfie-sketchnotes as an introduction to the year
  4. Making thoughtful notes
  5. Storyboards for films
  6. Planning for static image
  7. Legitimate doodling


The list could go on and on. I've used sketches to highlight key ideas on Keynote slides. I've also used this form of sketching to keep focused in professional development sessions. On a daily basis, I use my whiteboard for a wrap-up of lessons, or to give big-picture ideas. Now I can do it in a far more visual way.


I have found it to be relaxing, rewarding, and a super fun way to bring creativity back into the classroom. Can you think of other ways to use sketchnoting to ignite creativity in the classroom? Feel free to comment below.

All Comments

Posted on February 26, 2023

I love this reminder that sketchnoting can support both student AND teacher thinking in so many powerful ways. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Linda!

I wrote about having preservice teachers sketchnote to unpack the ISTE Standards in this post last fall:

Always looking for new ways to bring creativity into my practice, and your book shares so many great ideas!

Posted on February 26, 2023

Fantastic use of sketching for easing into the beginning of the year after rain anxiety! These are all great ideas - thanks for sharing your book so all of us can benefit.

Posted on March 09, 2023

Thanks, Jessica and Cheryl. I'm like you, always looking for opportunities to bring creativity into the classroom. Thanks for sharing your resource Jessica!

Posted on March 10, 2023

We often advocate for sketchnoting for its learning impact, butI really agree that another benefit to sketchnoting is that it is relaxing and calming. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful resources that you are using with your students. I've also been using the Zinnia app as a planner/journal that uses lots of drawing and writing sketchnote style along with clip art as a great way to plan and reflect on the day. I've found that practice to be relaxing and balancing for me, especially as I add the visual elements. I downloaded your book - terrific resource!

Posted on March 28, 2023

Linda, thank you for sharing your book in this evening's ADE Book Talk! I enjoyed hearing from you and being reminded about the benefits of sketching.

Posted on March 28, 2023

Thanks for your Book Talk Linda! I enjoyed hearing about how and why you created your book. Always nice to hear directly from the author!

Posted on July 25, 2023

Thank you for sharing this resource! The research is clear on what sketchnoting can do for learners!

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