Friday, 23 January 2015

Les notes visuelles/ Sketchnoting in FSL

Time flies when report cards are due!  I've been trying to keep up with my assessments and marking, and so my blog here has fallen by the wayside for a while.  But I'm back, and I excited to write about my newest hook for my French students!

While I was marking my students' work, I noticed a trend (that I did not like at the time:)

My students are doodlers!  One part of me was disappointed, because I had these great Oral Communication based classes, that I thought were engaging and fun.  Seeing that the students wanted to doodle instead of listen was frustrating.  On the other hand, I thought about why my students doodled-- sometimes it helped them focus their listening.  For others I think it was because they are more visual learners.  So, with this information I wanted to find something that could incorporate art/ drawing into the class in a way that would make their doodling purposeful and effective to their learning.

With research, I found out about Sketchnoting.

I've read about the trend in English speaking classroom using Sketchnoting to help students make notes of things they hear and read.  I've always been a visual note taker-- it helps keep me engaged.  I didn't know that there was a name for it specifically until I saw Mike Rohde's The Sketchnote Handbook.  I bought it, and did some research online, and there were some English literacy teachers that started using it with their students.  (Some helpful articles I found on Sketchnoting for Education are here, here and here.)  Why couldn't this work for my FSL students?  It would be a visual way of taking those dreaded grammar and vocab notes.

While I noticed there were teachers that used Sketchnotes in their lessons, there were not many FSL teachers that did so.  So finding some resources to use in FSL class was difficult.  But, since I'm a visual learner, and a creative-type, I wanted to make some of my own resources.   To introduce the concept to my students, they were to watch the video by Claudine Delfin about Sketchnoting.

Although the video is in English (I couldn't find any French videos), the students got the basics of the purpose and theory behind using visual notes.  For our first lesson, we watched the video, and then had a PCP ( Pensez/Couplez/Partagez) discussion about the important points of the video in French.  As we shared what we thought were the important points, we created our own "note visuelle" about the video.  I created on at the front of the class, and the students were welcome to copy mine, or think of their own imagery to support their points.

As we did the notes, the students were engaged with the discussion and with creating their doodles to support their note.  Some of my most challenged students were creating great notes visuelles:

While students were waiting on the next point during discussion, they added details to their doodles, shared them with each other.

The next class, students were asked to review their notes, and share which points we had already covered, so we could continue the note.  Many students were able to form simple sentences to convey their points from the class before.  More, students commented on how much they enjoyed the process of learning how to make these visual notes.  In order to support the students' learning, and maintain French as the language in FSL class, I created a couple of "notes visuelles" in French.  I photocopied them, and distributed them to the students.  This first handout is based on a page that educator CarolAnne Maguire created in English.  I loved it, so I drew a  French version (Click link for printable version:

Our first grammar based "note visuelles" was a review about our articles:

The above note I used my iPad to create.  For my student that use assistive technology, I was able to teach them how to create their NVs on their devices. 

This is an exciting project that my students and I are doing together.  As I make more resources, I will post them.  And if you start this with your studnets, I would love to know how it goes!

Would you ever try sketchnoting in your FSL class?