All posts by Joey Jackson

I'm a grade 7 teacher who is excited to try blogging with my class! I teach at Mitchell District High School and have been working in the Mitchell community for the past 12 years. I was born in Southern California, and was raised in festive Stratford. I studied at the University of Ottawa where I received both my B.A. in English and Bachelor of Education.

Sketchnotes 2.0

Sketchnote I made at EdTech Teacher iPad Summit

Here is a sketchnote that I made about the elements of Sketchnoting. I learned about this idea at the EdTech Teacher conference that I attended in November of 2015. I’ve been  working on sketchnoting 2.0 with my class and it has been met with great success! Sketchnotes 2.0  requires students to import heir

Sketchnotes 2.0  requires students to import their sketchnotes into the app Explain Everything and verbalizing the meaning behind what they created. So far this has been a concept that most of my class has really enjoyed. I think that it’s important to note that not all kids are going to love this concept on an iPad and that’s ok. It’s so important to  be flexible about the apps the kids choose to use. There are some who really prefer to do this work on paper. Respect for the learner is key. Kids can very easily snap a picture of their paper sketchnotes and upload that into Explain Everything too.

Below is an example of sketchnoting 2.0. This was done for a reading response to an article that was picked from the website .



Sketchnotes Lesson 3 Flow & Connectors

We have looked at fonts and icons so now let’s talk about the last few things that you need to think about when you sketchnote. The first idea that I want you to think about is the flow of your note. The flow is how your information is organized? Your note may be linear, it may follow a clockwise direction or it might spoke out from a main idea in the middle. The flow of you note is up to you.

Another element that you will want to think  about is connectors. These allow others to get an idea of how your thinking is linked. Like the flow, this concept is completely up to you.

Sketchnotes Lesson 2 – Icons

Easy Faces

Now that you have established and played around with fonts the next element of Sketchnoting  to think about is icons. A good place to start is drawing stick people. Take some time and draw as many stick figures as you can. Think of all the ways to show different emotions, feelings and actions.

Now that you have experimented with your stick figures it’s time to tackle some other icons. Take a look at all the emojis that are out there if you are stuck for ideas. You will find that there will be a number if icons that are multi-purpose. The earth, for example, is an image that could be used to represent the world, nature, green thinking ideas global ideas.

You don’t need to worry about being a great artist, you just need to worry about your icons and images making sense to you.  It would be really helpful to keep a library of the stick figures and icons that you have developed – everyone needs a reminder every once in a while. The longer you sketch note the more icons you will develop.

Sample Icons
Sketchnote Tips

Happy Sketching!

Works Cited
Chua, Sacha. Sketchnote Emotions. Digital image. Living an Awesome Life. N.p., 12 July 2013. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.
Duckworth, Sylvia, and Carol A. McGuire. Sketchnote Tips. Digital image. E-Tools for Language Tachers. Blogger, 2015. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.
Sketch Icons. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

Sketchnotes Lesson 1 – The Art of Visual Note Taking

We are going to dive into the world of sketchnoting. What is sketchnoting? It is a concept that will help you to make your learning more visual. The idea behind this concept is to help you get a deeper understanding of what you are learning in a personal way. You don’t need to be a great artist you just need to have confidence in your ability to learn. We will experiment with using our iPads and going old school with paper. Remember to bring your stylus to class to make this an easier process.This is going to be a learning process for all of us so hold on tight and get ready to start on this new exciting journey.

Suggested iPad apps – Paper 53 (this one is my personal fav.) , Sketch Express, Notability 7 Explain Everything

Lesson 1 – Fonts

This first this that we are going to think about is the text or fonts we choose. We will take time to explore the fonts that work best for us. If you can master three different kinds of fonts then you are well on your way! Here is your mission:

1. Pick a font that will be your go to – this is the one that that you will use most of the time.

2. Pick a font that you will use when you want to emphasis a point.

3. Pick a font that you will use for titles

Works Cited
Keller, Yamairah. Sketchnote Fonts. Digital image. Life With a Side of Yamz. WordPress, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.
Sketcho Frenzy: The Basics of Visual Note-taking Claudine Delfin. Dir. Claudine Delfin. Sketcho Frenzy: The Basics of Visual Note-taking. Sketcho Freny, 7 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.


Dec. 1st NGL Day

Here is a link to the Symbaloo webmix that was created for everyone who attended the NGL day on December 1st. Symbaloo is a fantastic way to curate apps and websites. When you create a Symbaloo webmix you are simply adding links to sites and the app store. Users of a webmix just app on the tabs an are taken directly to the desired site. It’s like keeping a page of bookmarks about one topic all in one place. If you want to search the website there are thousands of public webmixes for you to use.


iPad Friendly Novel Responses

Here is the novel response assignment that my students use during our independent reading time.

Independent Reading Novel Response 

You will be expected to complete multiple independent novel responses during term one and two. After you finish your novel you must complete:

1. A summary and personal opinion (Voice, Pages , Google Docs)

2. A character analysis (choose one character and include 3 character traits with support from the text)

3. A creative assignment

Your assignments need to show that:

• You have read the book

• You have thought deeply and reflected on the book

• You have understood the assignment

You will set individual reading goals and due dates for assignments as the year progresses during conferences with your teacher. You should have your novel choices approved by your teacher.

Happy Reading!

Creative Assignment Choices

Links have been provided to suggested apps and websites for each assignment. Please feel free to you any other apps of your choice.

1. If a journey was involved, draw a map with explanatory notes of significant places. (Google Earth, Notability, Showme, Explain Everything)

2. Dramatize a scene from the book. Write a script and have several rehearsals before performing it to the class or recording it. Include stage directions in your script. (Screenplay, iMoviePuppet Pals)

3. Lead a small group discussion with other readers of the same book. Focus on a specific topic and report your group’s conclusion to the class. (Notability, Adobe Voice)

4. Find a song or a poem that relates to the theme or events of your book. Explain the similarities. (Pages,  Keynote ,  Google Docs)

5. Make a travel leaflet inviting tourists to visit the setting of the book. What types of activities would there be for them to attend etc. (Pages, Google Docs)

6. Write a letter to the main character of the book. Write the letter he or she sends back. (Pages,  Google Docs)

7. Make a fake Facebook page of a main character in the book. Think about how their status would change throughout the plot. Who would be on their list of friends? What music would they listen to? What movies would they like?  Be sure to include specific details from the text. (fakebook , Pages )

8. Make a comic with photos of yourself acting out important scenes from the book. (Stripdesigner , )

9. Design and make the front page of a newspaper writing articles, designing adverts based on the character and events of the book. (Pages,  Google Docs)

10. Write a song or rap for your story or non-fiction book. Make sure to include specific details from the text. (Garageband)

11. Write a poem (or poems) related to characters or events in the book. (Wolfram Alpha, Pages, Verses notebook + rhyming dictionary)

12. Create a storyboard for a section of the book. Decide on camera shots etc. Remember to explain the plot and also why a particular camera angle was chosen. (StripdesignerExplain Everything , Book Creator )

13. Find the top 10 web sites a character in your book would most frequently visit. Include an explanation of why each would be of interest. Add screenshots of the websites to explain. (NotabilityPages , Keynote,  Google Docs, Haiku Deck , Adobe Slate)

14. Create a board game based on events and characters in the book you read. By playing your game, members of the class should learn what happened in the book. Your game must include the following: a game board, a rule sheet and clear directions, events and characters from the story. (PoppletTotal Recall, Inspiration Maps )

15. Construct a diorama (three-dimensional scene which includes models of people, buildings, plants, and animals) of one of the main events of the book. Include a written description of the scene. (no app here. Get dirty with paper, coloured pens and glue!)

16. Imagine that you are about to make a feature-length film of the novel you read. You have been instructed to select your cast from members of your class and/or teachers. Cast all the major characters in your novel from your English classmates and explain why you selected each person for a given part.  (Haiku Deck , Adobe Slate, Notability, Pages, iMovie, Keynote, Google Docs)

17. Plan a party for the characters in the book you read. In order to do this, complete each of the following tasks: (a) Design an invitation to the party which would appeal to all of the characters. (b) Imagine that you are five of the characters in the book and tell what each would wear to the party. (c) Tell what food you would serve and why. (d) Tell what games or entertainment you will provide and why your choices are appropriate. (e) Tell how three of the characters will act at the party. (f) What kind of a party is this? (birthday, housewarming, anniversary, engagement etc.)  (NotabilityPages, KeynoteiMovie, Explain Everything,  Google Docs)

18. Make a collage that represents major characters and events in the book you read. Use pictures and words cut from magazines in your collage. Include, on separate paper an explanation of some of your choices. (Photo Wall Pro, Pic Collage Pages, Split Pic)

19. Record a video interview with a character from your book. Ask at least ten questions that will give the character the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about his/her role in the story. (Reel director ,  iMovie )

20. Create a presentation about your nonfiction book with 10 key ideas that you learned. (Haiku Deck , Adobe Slate, Keynote, iMovie , Explain Everything)

21. Write an alternative ending for the book. (Pages , Book Creator,  Google Docs , Book Creator )

22. Make a silent movie of the story. The audience needs to understand the storyline without sound. (Silent Film Studio)

23. Create a Mash Up  that contains at least three songs that relate to your novel (plot events, characters, theme,setting). Share your mash up and defend your song choices to the class. (Garageband)   Fantastic Mash Up example –

25. Create a movie trailer for your book. Make sure that it includes information about the plot, mood, theme, setting, conflict and solution, characters. You can use still camera shots, images from the internet of live action film. (iMovie)

24. Keeping the theme, plot and character in mind rewrite the words to a popular song to fit this book.  (Pages,  Google Docs)

25. Create a podcast about your novel.  Your podcast should include information about the plot, mood, theme, setting, conflict and solution, characters, and as a bonus some biographical information about the author. Share your podcast with the class. (Garageband)

26. Create an movie trailer for your book. Make sure that it includes information about the plot, mood, theme, setting, conflict and solution, characters. You can use still camera shots, images from the internet of live action film. (iMovie) *Remember to cite your sources if you are choosing images from the internet. 

27. Recreate 2-3 settings from your book in Minecraft. You must include specific details from the text. Share your world with the class. Remember to always be working under the “Creative” setting to ensure no damage comes to your project.

28. Create a commercial for your book. Make sure that it includes information about who you think the target audience for the book would be. Give support detail from the text. How did the author do a good job of appealing a specific audience.  (iMovie)

29. Write a detailed summary of your book including information about the protagonist, antagonist, setting, plot, conflict and theme. Using the information from your summary, create a Kahoot on the website . Read your summary to the class and then play your Kahoot. Your classmates will have to google to join your game.

30. Create a Touchcast about your book. For a fiction book be sure to include vApps to illustrate major plot points, characters, setting, conflict, theme & mood. For non-fiction book include 10 vApps to illustrate new things that you learned. (Touchcast)

31. Create a sketchnote about your book. For a fiction book be sure to illustrate major plot points, characters, setting, conflict, theme & mood. For non-fiction book illustrate 10 new things that you learned. Download your sketchnote into Explain Everything and narrate the thinking behind your note ( Paper 53, Sketch Express, Explain Everything, Notability)

If you have another idea that isn’t listed please discuss it with me 🙂

Independent Novel Response Success Criteria

Please consider the following success criteria every time you  complete and Novel Response for your Independent Reading

  • Response contains specific support details from the text (settings, names of characters, events from the plot)
  • Response shows a thorough understanding of the plot of the book
  • Response shows a clear understanding of the theme of your novel with support from the text
  • Response shows a clear understanding go the conflict in your novel with support from the text
  • Character analysis is supported with different specific events from the plot
  • Response shows that you have reflected on the book
  • Response shows that you have understood the assignment that you chose
  • Clarity of your work
      • Conventions (spelling and grammar)
      • Word choice and vocabulary
      • Variety of sentence length and types
      • Using part of the question in response
      • Clear voice during presentation