Assign this journal task when you need to have your students process notes. They can either take the notes on the same page in the journal (or in a separate notebook), or they can set up a page next to their notes to do their Mr. Stick illustrations.
Set the Stage:
What I say when assigning this: "All right, we all know notes are the boring part of class. They're boring to take, boring to copy, and boring to look back at. Today, your task is to make the notes you write down interesting so that you won't mind looking back at them before the test. Mr. Stick will help you liven your notes up today!
"As you take notes, think of visuals you might put down to complement your notes. Think of visuals that will make you want to look back at the notes. Don't draw boring stuff! I know you can find something interesting in the notes, if you know you are to look for high-interest stuff right from the very start.
"Do not spell any character names (or other proper nouns) incorrectly on your notes or in your reflection of your notes!"
Chris H.--one of my juniors--created this reflection on his notes from the different levels of Hell found in Dante's The Inferno. I asked the kids--when reflecting--to include a personal opinion about the punishment being doled out to the sinners. With all the notes from The Inferno (with the reflections and illustations) appearing page-after-page in the journals, when I asked the students to study for the test on the unit, they actually enjoyed flipping back through, comparing illustrations and reflections with classmates as they memorized the levels of Hell for the test.
I'm Looking for more Samples:
If you use this Mr. Stick journal task with your students (grades 4-12) and end up with an example that you believe I can feature here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am especially looking for samples on topics other than mythology! If you photograph/scan a journal page that I end up featuring here, I will send you one of the NNWP's Print Publications as my way of saying "Thanks!"