Exploring Doodling’s Dual Purposes

Bernadette Whitely and Julia Blum

Many students have different methods to keep focused in a activities such as a long class discussion or a test. These mannerisms become automatic and natural to many students. Molly Liston ‘22, explains that doodling in class can help her stay focused especially if the doodle has to do with the topic in class. Liston states, “If [students] draw something that relates to the topic then it could help them think in more exciting ways. For me, pictures help me remember things that I am taking notes on. I use smaller pictures in my science notes and that helps me remember the information”. Liston explains that doodling in class could help students who have trouble paying attention or remembering information.

Mary Kirchoff, one of the Blake School’s learning specialists, supports the method of drawing in aid of memorization, explaining “We will sometimes coach kids. Rather than writing in words, they’ll draw a picture and listen to what the teacher is saying. Then later in the night, they go back and listen around what they drew and fill in their notes.” This tool is accessible for everyone and does not need anything more than what you already bring to school. Not only does it help people remember things, but it also keeps people focused and it can make class more fun.

What students choose to doodle can vary widely–ranging from drawings of plants to words in foreign languages–the latter of which has been proven that maintain the result of deeper concentration. In-class drawings may also allow students to focus more intently and are not limited to the subject one is currently in, but rather anything one’s mind can conjure.

Molly Liston
Molly Liston ’22’s doodle entitled “Cauldron”.

 Lily Delianedis ‘20 does not draw pictures at all, but instead writes in Russian. Delianedis elaborates, stating “I like to draw Russian characters in class because I enjoy different languages and expressing my creativity on paper in class.” This gives Delianedis the ability to have sharper focus during work, while still doing something she enjoys. Audrey Wethington ‘20 believes she has drawn every kind of flower possible in her notebook doodles. Wethington attests, “Surprisingly, I also pay attention better when I draw.” Though doodling may seem like a distraction, it clearly is anything but.