Using Sketchnotes to Generate Ideas for Writing

I was just about to take the photograph of a lifetime. Think National Geographic (if Nat. Geo. were interested in a pic of my dog in my backyard). ;)

But my camera's storage was full. I frantically hit delete, delete, delete. But it was too late.   

Some good did come out of it, because while hitting that little trashcan, I came across some photos of a writer's notebook activity that we did earlier in the year. I always have my friends keep lists and templates to generate ideas that we can draw on later. This is one we used to store ideas for personal narratives and memoirs

Sketchnote Fun!

Pinterest is full of awesome sketchnote ideas, and I thought my friends would like trying out an idea page that was a combination of doodles, sketches, words, phrases, and anecdotes. The only sketch that was necessary was the foot outline, so the non-artist types (like me) didn't feel pressure to include drawings. They just had to have some fun sharing the summer travels they went on. With their feet!

Sketchnotes are an awesome way to generate writing ideas! An added bonus? You'll learn lots of fun details about your students! Learn how I use them, and pick up a free template!

The foot above is the one I created to demo what it might look like. As I stated, I'm no da Vinci, so my sketches had to be pretty basic and drawn with a pencil first. I "cheated" on the dog by hand-copying a sketch of a dog that looks like mine, which I did because I couldn't bear to leave him out. 

The foot below is one that another non-artist did. Although it seems like he didn't write much, he actually planted some seed ideas for what could be some pretty cool writing pieces. He included anecdotes about a personally satisfying hike up a mountain with some friends that can translate into a memoir. And he wrote a little bit about a fun night in an amusement park that resulted in getting kicked off the Ferris wheel line, which would make an interesting narrative. 

Do you smell a story in there? I do! Better than a smell emanating from that sneaker!

Sketchnotes are an awesome way to generate writing ideas! An added bonus? You'll learn lots of fun details about your students! Learn how I use them, and pick up a free template!

The next foot also has a lot of potential. This girl wrote about her fun experiences at summer camp. It appears that she fell in love with Harry Potter and roller coasters, her friend fell out of a boat, and there's a camp ghost named Callie. My favorite? During a basketball game, my friend scored. But the shot she sank was in her opponent's basket! This later became an impressive personal narrative. She took that tiny idea and dug deeper to tell the story of that moment. It was awesome!
Sketchnotes are an awesome way to generate writing ideas! An added bonus? You'll learn lots of fun details about your students! Learn how I use them, and pick up a free template!
Free Personal Narrative Prewriting Template

Click on the template below to download a free template to use with your friends if you don't want them taking off shoes to trace their feet. It will not only serve as an idea generator; it will also serve as a great way to get to know your friends better. And their feet.
Use this free template for sketchnotes that will generate ideas for writer's workshop memoirs and personal narratives.

4 comments

  1. It's very interesting idea. I think that we should create smth like this in any situations but when I need to create my paper work I ask http://www.essaywriters.reviews/ to help me with this task.

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  2. Its a great idea to use sketch note.
    You can even describe your book with pics and after just write about pictures and you will get ready book review.

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  3. Hey! I'm an ESL teacher in Korea and while I don't use sketch notes with ss, I am now considering doing something like this next year :) I will just have to figure out how to get all of my students a notebook (school supplies here are a bit different than in American). Anyway, I did use this idea for my students coming back from summer break, so thanks with sharing!! Here is my blog post about it if you are interested in seeing what they students decided to do :) http://stupendousme.com/myfeetandi/

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  4. Wow, Hillary! Your kids did a great job! Thank you for sharing the photos!
    I'm actually doing something slightly different with it this year. I'm just working out the kinks, but I'll share it here when we finish.
    Your blog is great! I want to hear more about Remus. :)

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