Preparing Sketch Notes

While studying Social Studies especially and for other subjects too Sketch Notes are a great help. They present the information in a visual format and that helps in learning as well as revising at the time of examination.

How to prepare Sketchnotes?
Sketch notes in the Classroom
Visual Summary of Class VIII Social Science NCERT

Phase 1: Rough draft

Jot down the main points from the chapter/article

Read through the text and jot down the important points. At this stage don't worry about what the final version will look like. You want to make sure you are jotting down any/all points that seem significant. You can summarize this at the next stage.

If your main text is from a chapter book, pay attention to the information in the sidebars. That may give you an idea of the important points or how to group the text.

Phase 2: Summarize

Review notes and group the relevant sections together

Read through your notes and try to group the main ideas together. You don't need to follow the same structure or flow of the main text. The goal here is to group similar ideas together to help you remember the context later.

This is also where you would play around with the layout of the sketch note. After grouping the text together, I decided to use the "Then and Now" format where the left side of the page shows how the Adivasis lived before and the right side shows the challenges they are facing after being removed from their land. Based on what text you use, the layout/format you choose may differ.

Adivasi Life in Forest - Adivasi Life in City

Phase 3: Visualize

Identify sections that may work better in visual mode

Go over your notes and the layout and identify sections that would work better as a visual element rather than text. In this case, the highlighted text shows the states that Adivasis resided in. In the text format, this would be a long list of names I would have to memorize. However, when I visualize this in a map, I can easily see that the states are grouped in the middle belt of India and this will be easier for me to recall even if I don't remember the list of states.

One thing to note here is that not every element needs to be visualized. There may be some sections that work better in text mode than a visual (for eg. a quote). Depending on the text you are sketch noting, you may lean towards more visual notes or more text heavy notes.

Phase 4: Final Review

Compare your Sketchnote with the main text and tweak your layout/visuals if needed

Once your visuals are in, it's time for a final review. Take out your main text again and go over it with the sketchnote. If you notice any missing points, this is the time to add it in.

Note that in this example, the goal was to summarize the chapter into one page. You could take different sections of this sketchnote (for eg. Challenges of Migration) and create a more detailed sketchnote just of that section.

That's all there is to it!

If you have questions about Sketchnotes or want tips/resources on visualizing specific texts,

contact me.

Learn More at

Related Stories