Why You Should Let Your High School Students Color in Class

by History Gal

I've always liked to color. By the time I was in high school, I had a collection of colored pens to use while I took notes during lectures. I also doodled flowers and shapes in the margins of my paper as I listened to my teachers. As an adult, I still have a collection of colored pens and you can still catch me doodling during meeting and webinars. Because of my tendency to color and doodle, I often incorporated ways for my students to color in class. I always had containers of crayons, markers, and colored pencils ready for students to use. They made posters, brochures, picture books, colored maps, and so much more. And then, my friend Brigid of Math Giraffe introduced me to the idea of Doodle Notes - a way to join my love of coloring and doodling with note taking.

You've probably notice that coloring has become a new money-maker through the sales of adult coloring books, but there is solid evidence of the benefits of coloring. You can go back to Carl Jung’s research to find the benefits of coloring. He believed coloring was helpful in releasing stress and decreasing anxiety. Psychologist Gloria M. Ayala says both logic and creativity are activated in the brain during coloring.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Age-of-Exploration-Christopher-Columbus-Doodle-Notes-2744385Doodle Notes use these benefits of coloring along with the seemingly mindless activity of doodling to increase relaxation, learning, memory, focus and retention in students. Doodling uses just enough energy from the brain to increase attention and focus without over-riding the executive brainpower needed for learning, memory and retention. Doodling simultaneously sparks both sides of the brain increasing understanding, memory and retention.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Greece-Doodle-Notes-Set-5-Persian-Wars-3153547Doodle Notes are not giving the students permission to randomly draw during instruction and lecture. Rather, Doodle Notes are purposeful drawing and coloring activities used to complete teacher-constructed tasks. Students are making vocabulary terms visual and graphic when they complete Doodle Notes. Logic is used to link events, causes and effects and make meaning of information. Doodle Notes become visual triggers to the students’ memories of experiences and interactions with the content. Obviously, you will need to spend a little time leading your students through the process if Doodle Notes are new to your classroom, but the results are well worth it.

I have created a wide variety of ready-to-use Doodle Notes for US History, World History and Civics. There are individual topics, like How a Bill Becomes a Law Doodle Notes, to a seven-part set of Doodle Notes for Ancient Greece and even bundles, like US History to 1877 Doodle Notes. My Doodle Notes include teacher directions and a PowerPoint. The text in the PowerPoints can be edited so you can personalize the presentation. There are both blank Doodle Notes pages and fill-in-the-blank versions so you can modify for the diverse student needs in your classroom. There are also video links to assist you in expanding your lessons. The Doodle Notes are in a grey-scale for coloring and a full color version that you can use as examples as the Doodle Notes process is introduced.

Take advantage of the possibilities and benefits of drawing and coloring in your classroom. Provide a productive outlet for your doodlers and a method for relaxation and focus. Wouldn’t it be great if your kids talked about how much fun it was taking notes?

Are you using Doodle Notes in your classroom? Share your experiences and thoughts about Doodle Notes by leaving a comment below!   

Click HERE to see more Doodle Notes.

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