PLC Series: Sketchnoting

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

Sunni Brown, an author and speaker specializing in visual thinking and information design, asserts that doodling is not the “nemesis of intellectual thought” but rather an ally. In her 2011 TEDTalk, she explains that in order take in information and do something with it, we need at least two modalities engaged—visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic—or one, with the addition of an emotional experience. 

Guess what engages all four, with an emotional experience as a possibility depending on the learner and topic? Doodling.

Heinemann author Tanny McGregor knows how effective it is to engage learners through a variety of modalities, as seen in her books Comprehension Connections (2007) and Genre Connections (2013).  It is no surprise that she herself has experienced the power of doodling as visual note taking, or “sketchnoting”.  Honing her own skills and techniques so that she may share the possibilities of this note taking style with teachers, Tanny hopes that increasing individual comfort levels with sketchnoting might help teachers to make this option available to students. 

In this clip from her recent webinar, Tanny shows an example of one of her own sketchnotes from a full day workshop and provides some time for experimentation and play for participants. Take a look!


Looking for more PD with our authors?

Online: Find the registration details for all of our webinars, including the upcoming series with Rebekah O’Dell and Allison Marchetti, by clicking here.

Off-Site: Which authors are coming to your area for one day workshops? Click here to view the list by region, author, or state.

On-Site: Take a look at consulting authors and speakers available to you, including Tanny McGregor, by clicking here.


Tanny McGregor (@TannyMcG): The smash-hit Comprehension Connections introduced teachers across the country to the imaginative, inspiring, and practical teaching of Tanny McGregor. Now Genre Connections brings to teaching genre the same creativity and can-do spirit that has helped hundreds of thousands of practitioners improve. Tanny has been teaching and learning in Cincinnati for more than two decades. She is a staff developer, a nationally-known keynoter and workshop presenter, and a member of Heinemann Professional Development Services. In addition to Comprehension Connections and Genre Connections, she is a coauthor of the Heinemann title Comprehension Going Forward.


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