Pen + Paper + Picture = Clarity + Retention

On Wednesday of this week, I read a prayer request from Kelly on KLove. She was frustrated about reading the bible because she found it difficult to understand and retain the information.  Well, Kelly wherever you are I'm sure many of us share your pain, the good news is there is a simple fix that can help anyone understand and retain more information, no matter what you are trying to learn.

That simple fix is DRAWING...before you freak out...we're not talking about making art we're talking about drawing a few simple pictures to help us clarify and retain more info. Need proof?

Dan Roam author of several bestsellers explains how to use six simple pictures as a thinking tool to bring clarity to complex ideas and solve problems, a recent article in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology states "Drawn words were better recalled than written."  And in the Doodle Revolution, Sunni Brown describes immersive learning where we learn through multiple modes, including visual, auditory and reading & writing.

But the magic is in the doing, stop reading, get a pen and some paper and let's draw together.  Go ahead, I'll wait... Ready?...Ok, let's give this a whirl.

I have trouble remembering the story of Elija and Elisha from 1st and 2nd Kings, let's draw some pictures to help us.  Following Dan Roam's idea of using a few simple pictures,  let's start with WHO is involved in the story, There's Elijah who was a great prophet, and there is Elisha who was Elijah's  servant, disciple, and eventual successor.

Deborah DeLue - Visual Facilitation, Illustration, Project Management

Next, there's WHAT,  the story talks about Elisha taking up Elijah mantle, which according to Wikipedia was originally a cape worn to ward off the cold, but came to symbolize the passing of prophetic authority.

Deborah DeLue - Visual Facilitation, Illustration, Project Management

In the story, the Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, but I have trouble recalling where that is. We need a map to show us WHERE things take place (a very simple one will do)

Deborah DeLue - Visual Facilitation, Illustration, Project Management

As I understand it after Elisha had been Elijah servant and disciple for several years, Elijah was taken to heaven on a chariot of fire then Elisha picked up Elijah mantle and went on to become a  great prophet.  We're talking about the order of WHEN things happened, for that, we need a timeline,  just a few arrows will do it.

Deborah DeLue - Visual Facilitation, Illustration, Project Management

There we have it a few simple pictures to help us understand who and what was involved, where it happened and the order of events.  Like I mentioned before the magic is in the doing, the next time you're want to learn something new try drawing a few simple pictures they will help you understand the information more clearly and retain it longer.  I'd love to hear from you, have you tried drawing out a story or an idea?  How did it help you? What did you learn?

Until next time,  peace be with you. Debbie D