For the Classroom

Sketch Your Neuroscience Notes

  • Published31 May 2018
  • Reviewed31 May 2018
  • Author Emma Lindberg
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN
Illustrated sketchnote of an MRI
Illustrated sketchnote of an MRI
Illustrated sketchnote of sensory stimulation
Illustrated sketchnote of sensory stimulation


Students will create sketchnotes on a topic in neuroscience after exploring content and selecting an area of interest. Students will choose an article, video, or podcast that best explains their topic and what they’ve learned. They will convey highlights from the content item they selected in the form of sketchnotes, “a mix of handwriting, drawings, hand-drawn typography, shapes, and visual elements,” as defined in The Sketchnote Handbook.

Materials Needed

  • Internet access to explore
  • Coloring materials (markers, crayons, colored pencils)
  • Blank sheets of paper, preferably larger than 8.5” x 11”
  • Sample sketch notes (provided)

Prep Work

  1. Make sure your students have internet access to explore Students can browse the site on individual tablets, in a computer lab, or from home.
  2. Distribute 1 sheet of paper to each student.
  3. Distribute the coloring materials amongst the students. Each student does not need their own set of coloring materials; encourage your students to share the supplies that are available.

illustrated sketchnote explaining multiple sclerosis


  1. Set aside time to have your students explore or assign them time to look at the site at home.
  2. Explain to your students that they should select a topic and content that interests them. Some example topic areas can include how learning and memory function in the brain, technologies that help us look at the brain, or how diseases and disorders affect the brain.
  3. Ask students to find an article, video, or podcast from that best explains their topic. Their content item selection will be the basis for their sketchnotes.
  4. Show your students the sketchnotes example. Direct them to create their version of sketchnotes based on their selected content item.

Extend the Activity

Have your students give a 2-3 minute presentation on their sketchnotes to the class. Ask them to explain the topic they chose, as well as what their sketches represent in addressing the subject area.



Educator Resources

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