On this site, I explain handmade thinking and share some ways students have used drawing to improve their responses to reading.

What is handmade thinking?

Handmade thinking is a term I’ve coined to describe a subcategory of visual thinking that involves drawing images by hand to capture and present ideas.

How is handmade thinking different from visual thinking?

Visual thinking can be divided into a number of processes itself, including the analysis, manipulation, and creation of images.  For example, when we read a map, we are using our visual thinking skills to discover where we are and where we want to go. Selecting appropriate colors for a bedroom or cutting and pasting clip art images into a presentation would also be considered visual thinking.

Handmade thinking, however, is a creative process, the drawing of new images by hand in order to respond to a specific experience or to show our thinking to others.

What is the relationship between handmade thinking and improved reading comprehension?

Many state education standards in English Language Arts and Reading expect students to create sensory images to support the development of reading comprehension.  Handmade thinking and the 21 visual formats introduced on this site and explained further in my book provide teachers clear guidance on how to help students become more engaged and critical readers through drawing.

I also offer workshops on handmade thinking, and I look forward to talking to you more about how you and your colleagues might use handmade thinking in your classrooms with your students.  See brochure here.