Thursday, February 20, 2014

Drawings His Notes

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how my son has been doing poorly on the quizzes he takes after watching short BrainPop videos. I had him start taking notes in an attempt to improve his scores. But instead of writing down only the most important thoughts, he wrote down nearly everything that was said. And so, it took him 30-40 minutes to watch a 4-minute video.

My blog friend Shiroi commented at the time that Kai would get tired of writing too much and will start learning to shorten it.

Well, that has come to pass.

Though I don’t think it is quite in the way that Shiroi had in mind.

Instead of writing sentences or phrases, Kai has started drawing pictures for his notes.

Here’s one sheet of drawings he made while watching the video on the Civil Rights Movement:

If you look closely at the above, you will see images that reflect segregation, the landmark Brown versus Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court, the time when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, among others.

The following is the sheet of drawings he made while watching the video on Galileo Galilei:

I did not watch this video with him so I don’t know what all the drawings are about. And that is where my concern comes in.

It doesn't particularly matter if I don't understand his notes, but I wonder whether Kai will remember what these images represent?

I like that he enjoys drawing these pictures and has much more fun than when he was writing out long sentences.

But I do wonder whether, after time passes, he would remember what each image represents. At some point, I would think that he would need to learn proper note taking.

But I also know that some people are more visual learners. And if this helps Kai stay motivated, then I suppose it is a good thing, for now anyway.

By the way, he got 100% on the quiz on the Civil Rights Movement and 90% on the one on Galileo. So that is good.

Though he only got 60% the following day on a quiz on Abraham Lincoln. So the jury is still out on this.


  1. Kind of reminds me of doodling during boring college classes. haha.
    Love the notes on segregation...they are great and very clear in their meaning. Can't wait to see how this progresses!

    1. Yes, it will be interesting to see how this progresses. If he can actually learn this way, I'm all for it.

  2. A very innovative and efficient way of note taking! He will learn to take mental pictures and he will be able to categorize them effectively with some time under his belt. That was very smart!

    1. I think he often does take mental pictures. So perhaps this is his way of learning. We'll see how it works out over time.


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