English Students Utilize 'Sketchnoting' to Reinforce Lessons from Dickens Classic

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Seventh graders at Great Hollow Middle School will be visiting Theatre Three in the Port Jefferson later this month to watch a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.”

In advance of that field trip, students have been studying Charles Dickens’ holiday-themed novella about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley.

On Monday, that education continued in Victoria Wanser’s English classes as she read a portion of the story to her students and they sketched key concepts and terms in their notebooks — capturing phrases such as the oft-repeated “humbug” with their drawings.

Wanser believes “sketchnoting” is an effective way to teach her students. She was inspired by a class called, “Ink & Ideas: Sketchnotes for Engagement, Comprehension and Thinking,” which was taught by author Tanny McGregor.

“She emphasized the importance of making thinking visual in order to strengthen comprehension, and how a different kind of thinking happens with pen in hand,” Wanser said.