Steve Peha was the first teacher to help me realize the potential for visualization to serve learners. His Draw, Label, Caption strategy is still a favorite of mine, and I use it in varied contexts. You can find it by visiting Teaching that Makes Sense and downloading the Writing Teacher’s Strategy Guide. While you’re there, peek into some of his other resources. I know few people as generous as he is with his thinking and work.

Mr. Stick was an early addition to my instructional toolbox as well, and Kristen Marchiole and I used other strategies like these within and beyond notebooks when we co-taught middle school English together. They were of tremendous help to all of our students, but we were most surprised by how well they supported those who struggled most to make meaning from and comprehend text. Using visuals like these seemed to make retaining content knowledge more efficient as well.

Earlier in the week, I mentioned that I was reading Sunni Brown’s book, The Doodle Revolution. I should mention that I found my way to her work through our study of Austin Kleon’s stuff last year. Remember Newspaper Blackout? Well, Studio writers made a study of  Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist last year, and I’m looking forward to diving into his latest release over break: Show Your Work.  Both of these thinkers provided a forceful nudge down a rabbit hole that I’ve found particularly rewarding: the world of sketchnoting.

I remember the first RSA Animate I fell in love with: Sir Ken Robinson’s piece on Changing Educational Paradigms.

And I’ve been inspired by some of the more visual writers I meet at the WNY Young Writer’s Studio.  They love Ed Emberley’s books incidentally. Many doodlers do. Especially new ones.

From here, their interest has grown, and so has mine. I’ve been pinning some things here, for those who might be interested in breathing new life into their learning and work. I know that the writers I work with will love the tip sheets, lessons, and models here. Teachers might like them as well. Anchor charts come to life when you incorporate visuals!



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