Have you tried out Doodle Notes yet? Give it a try with this free Doodle Note on Types of Chemical Bonding.

The Why & How of Using Doodle Notes

Have you noticed that adult coloring books are all the rage? Research is available that sites that doodling while learning forms a connection between left brain and right brain communication and enhances learning. “Cross-Brain” learning has many benefits for the student.

Increased Memory
Reduces Day Dreaming

Increased Focus
Better Retention of Material
Concentration, Engagement, & Retention

So it seems those of us that were the doodlers in class had it right all along! If you’re interested in some of the research behind doodle notes, start with this article.


Ways to Implement Doodle Notes Into Your Lesson:

There are several ways to incorporate doodle notes into your lessons. There is no right or wrong way to use doodle notes. You may need to experiment in order to find what fits best for you.

  • Go through your lesson as normal—with normal notetaking (Cornell type notes, cloze notes, etc.) Then, have students “transcribe” their notes onto their doodle notes as you monitor for concept understanding.
  • Have students work in pairs where partners work together and discuss how to complete the notes. A conversation about how to go about completing their notes adds to the verbal component of doodle notes. You will have to be a little flexible on this one—you may not always get what you are looking for.
  • According to research, the best way to get all of the benefits of doodle notes is to add a verbal component. You can achieve this by using the doodle notes as the student’s notes for your lesson. I don’t even call them “Doodle Notes”. I just hand out their “notes”. Use an Elmo or some other way of projecting your completed doodle notes—just for a few moments—you don’t want to restrict student’s creativity. For some students, this will be like giving them permission to doodle! Project the blank doodle note that is handed out to students, and refer to it throughout the lesson. Lecture, teach, demonstrate as normal, and fill in the notes as you go. Students will doodle on their notes, but will also be focused on what you are teaching.
  • Doodle notes can also be used for review, a graphic organizer, or a study guide.

However, you use doodle notes with your students, don’t use it as a coloring activity. Give them time to complete the notes, and like any other lesson—wrap it up and finish the lesson. Many times students will come back to the next class showing off their doodle notes with pride in their awesome creation that they have completed! And, as an added benefit, they love referring to their notes—ready to pull them out when needed! And that’s a valuable one, as we are always trying to get students to refer to their notes!

The Lesson:

I let students use their choice of markers, colored pencils, or even crayons if they like. The fine tipped markers work great for doodle notes. (ultra fine tip Sharpies, gel pens, ultra fine felt tip markers) Colored pencils are my favorite for student use. I have a big box filled with colored pencils, another box with crayons, and a box with markers. And, I have found that many students have their own color pencils. If students use markers, remind them that they may bleed through and to make sure that they have something under their notes.

Doddle Note:

You will find lots of extra room on the notes for you to differentiate the notes to fit your needs. I have included an example KEY that gives suggestions of things that may be added to the notes. You can project your blank notes and add to them as you go through your lessons.


This activity is included in our Chemical Bonding Unit:

Lessons in this series from Chemistry Corner

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