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Lesson Plan

Doodle Splash: Using Graphics to Discuss Literature

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Doodle Splash: Using Graphics to Discuss Literature

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Schulze

Yankton, South Dakota


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



As students read a short story, they “doodle,” either in a journal or using an online tool, responding to the text through images, symbols, shapes, and colors. They must be sure to represent all of the elements of the short story (setting, plot, character, point of view, theme) in their doodles. Students then work in small groups, to construct a graphic of their story on a sheet of newsprint with crayons or markers. When all groups have completed their graphics, they will present them to the class, explaining why they chose the elements they used. Finished graphics can be displayed on a class bulletin board, on walls, or scanned in to a Web page.

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Doodle Splash: This online tool combines the process of drawing with analytical thinking by pairing online drawing with writing prompts that encourage students to make connections between their visual designs and the text.

Student Participation Checklist: This checklist is useful for assessing students' participation in any group work.

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Claggett (1992) states that "the use of graphics will help students make meaning as they read, write, and act, [which] is firmly rooted in current thinking about how the mind works." She adapts "Jung's concepts of the four primary ways that we make sense out of the world" (paraphrased as "observing, analyzing, imagining, and feeling") to describe aspects of a balanced approach to learning. Claggett further states that "through the use of graphics, students have opportunities to experience all four functions as they interact with the books they are reading and the essays, stories, and poems they are writing."

Teaching students to visualize what they are reading and create graphic symbols helps them develop as readers. Furthermore, sharing their individual responses in cooperative group activities deepens their understanding and skill as readers and writers.

Further Reading

Claggett, Fran, and Joan Brown. 1992. Drawing Your Own Conclusions. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003.


Dale, Helen. 1997. Co-Authoring in the Classroom: Creating an Environment for Effective Collaboration. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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