How to Create Visual Memory Triggers & Structure a Doodle Note Page Layout
Visual Memory Triggers:
These visuals can be images that contain or represent an analogy that helps the student understand.
They can also be graphics that blend text and pictures that stick in the students’ brains. It’s a perfect way to build a concept so that it really lasts in the long-term memory.
Because of Dual Coding Theory, these special graphics that combine text and images will convert more easily into long-term memory instead of being stored separately in short-term memory (see more about those "dual coding" brain connections here.)
Read more below to learn how to create and organize visual notes in a way that is specifically tailored to incorporate visual triggers. A student’s brain will process the text and the image in a way that builds connections and helps them remember the concept better than if reading or hearing it alone. Plus, the visual stimulation allows students to engage, get excited as well as retain the information that we are teaching in a lesson.
The benefits of this research-based approach include:
Visual notes are ideal for introducing lessons that include categories or subtopics, steps or stages in a process, relationships between ideas, or layers of material with key terms. And there are a few different graphic structures you can use to accomplish this depending on your lesson.
How to Structure a Doodle Note Layout that Incorporates Visual Triggers
Start by thinking of a particular lesson that you'd like to try teaching with visual notes. Break down the main idea and content and see which of the following structures would be best for your own lesson material.
Here are some starter options to try on for size, depending on the type of lesson content.
Option 1: Organizing Relationships with Connections and Parts
These all work great for teaching concepts with parts that fit together. Use them to interconnect topics. Students can organize, sort and compare to focus on or explain the relationships between all of the factors.
Option 2: Showing Steps or Stages for Processes or Representing Phases
Sometimes lessons are more basic and don’t really have room for a lot of creativity in the structure. That’s where stacking and layering works the best. They are far more visual than just lists. It works best for vocabulary-based lessons or topics that include long lists. Adding just a little bit of shape will help students remember key terms better.
Option 3: Tell Stories to Connect Ideas, Teach Concepts, and Promote Dialogue
This approach is perfect for when you’re talking about a subject where you want to animate meaning or share and connect ideas. You can use them to inspire and excite because students can have fun making their own stories or posters.
Option 4: Don’t forget Creative Custom Structures!
Sometimes it’s best to get creative and make your own custom structures from cups, gears, balloons or bubbles. Any containers that seem to work based on the lesson material can work. Some particular topics need more specific structures that you can create yourself it you cannot fit your content into a pre-existing template.
That’s one of the greatest things about visual and doodle notes. They are extremely flexible. Each classroom has a different dynamic and no one knows your classroom as well as you do. Being able to tailor the visual notes to your students is the best way for them to learn. There are really no “right ways” or “wrong ways” to teach with visual notes. When you use this strategy, you will see students that not only become focused or engaged in class, but also excited to learn.
It really is amazing how engaged students can become with these visual note tactics. They actually do love and take to this structure when it is used. As a teacher, it is so neat to see and hear the connections that stick in their brains.
To see the memory benefits first hand is part of what teaching is all about. It's awesome when you have a student say, “Yeah! I remember when you said that as I was doing little dots around the world ‘midpoint’ and I wrote that formula right in the corner with my orange pen! That’s how I remembered it on the test!”
Here are a few samples of visual triggers within custom page layouts:
Students form text into the shapes of the visual triggers (graphics that stick in their minds) to remember the three reasons we write in math: to explain, support, and describe. (from the "writing in math" set)
Students remember the connection between the ice cream cone, the drips, and the thermometer to understand how changes in temperature can convert matter from one state to another. (from the "States of Matter" page shared in the Doodle Note Club Sharing Zone)
Hopefully, these samples will inspire you as you start brainstorming about how to incorporate your own visuals into your doodle note strategy in your own classroom.
For templates, more layout tips, video training, and downloadable resources, join up at doodlenoteclub.com
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