Cross-Sector Doodling

Encourage a doodle journal--one for all classes. What connections emerge visually?

Photo of Sara Shifrin
5 7

Written by

A dedicated doodle journal might help students see how they process information and see connections between content in new ways. Also, teaching doodle skills to teachers will help teachers convey content in new ways.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Doodling unlocks all sorts of brain pathways for learning, connecting, and recalling.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • All of the above

Evaluation results

5 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love it. - 100%

This inspired (1)



Join the conversation:

Photo of Margaret Goldstein

Your idea inspired this extension of cross-sector doodling:

Thank you!!

Photo of Saima Alwani

Hi Margaret! Can you share how you implement this strategy in your classroom? I would love to hear how you get student buy-in to ensure learning is displayed as well as it is inteactive. 

Thank you!

Photo of Dan Ryder

What if students kept blogs where they could post images from their sketchbook for sharing? What if there were whiteboards available in the room to copy their ideas from their sketchbooks into a shareable space?

What if . . . oh man. . . . I have GOT to get my student designing their sketchbooks sooner rather than later.

Photo of Mark Carlucci

I just discovered before reading your post. Crazy connections started forming in my brain. Then I made me think back to a conversation I had during the last collaboration with Dan Ryder about sketch notebooks.

I think the idea of having students draw rather than write notes will provide an opportunity for them to make greater connections with what they are learning.

I teach math, and on some occasions I find it difficult to describe some concepts to students. It's not that I don't know the intricacies of the topic, it's just providing a description of my understanding. So often I take some of the more abstract concepts of math and produce images in my head. For instance, if you say, "What is nine squared?" I immediately visualize a square made up of nine by nine blocks. When discussion exponential equations, I start seeing images of things growing at an ever increasing rate. Even "simple" concepts such as adding are developed differently depending on whether I am thinking or physically writing it down.

I am a visual learner, but not necessary with my eyes. I visualize things internally and often times create strange and weird "mental doodles" to solidify concepts and ideas.

As I read your post and think, maybe this is what students need to really grasp things. Not notes fills with page after page of text, but very visual notes full of images and doodles that help each individual develop a solid grasp of what they are learning. (Side note: In my university humanities class, I filled 400 pages, front and back, with small print notes. Come test time, it was my mental imagery that I relied on during tests.)

Photo of Dan Ryder

Mark, have you checked out any of the cool work happening with sketchnotes at and So many huge possibilities here.