My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

How to Increase Learning and Make Life Easier with 6th Grade Sketch Notes

Do you want to know how you can use 6th grade science sketch notes to increase science learning while making your life easier? Science sketch notes combine words and images which increases students' ability to retain information.

Note: scroll to the bottom of the page to get a sketch note FREEBIE to try out.

6th grade sketch notes bundle of tpt resources
Interested in the 6th grade bundle? Click HERE to see on TPT

Interactive notebooks are notebooks that students use to document their learning and exploration in science. These interactive science notebooks are an ideal place to incorporate science sketch notes. Sketch notes are engaging and help meet the needs of all learners in class by making science concepts easy to understand with simple graphics and clear explanations. Most of the sketch notes include slideshows, writing prompts, and digital and print quizzes.

6 Benefits of Sketch Notes

1. Organizing Information

Sketch notes help students organize information in a clear and structured way. Challenging concepts are more easily understood when they are visually mapped out with simple graphics and explanations.

2. Improves Comprehension

Science sketch notes can help students understand complex topics by breaking them into manageable pieces. Students can see how concepts fit together and examples in action.

3. Enhances Creativity

Middle school science students can add their own spin to their sketch notes. Adding different colors with markers or colored pencils helps students make the notes their own and engage with the concepts. Areas of the notes encourage students to explain what they have learned or provide a real-world example of the concept.

4. Supports Review and Studying

By reviewing their science sketch notes, students can reinforce their understanding of key concepts and prepare for tests and assessments.

5. Teacher Time Saver

In addition to being a helpful resource for students, science sketch notes can also be a time-saver for teachers. With low-prep activities, quizzes, and slideshows included in the notes, teachers can spend less time creating lesson plans and more time focusing on teaching.

6. Standards Aligned

Science sketch notes are aligned with the 6th grade NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), which means they cover the topics and skills that students are expected to learn at this grade level. This makes them an excellent tool for teachers who want to ensure that they are meeting curriculum standards and preparing their students for future science courses.

6 Tips on How to Use Sketch Notes

  • Print and time the sketch notes pages and give each student a copy
  • Show the slideshow to the whole class and fill out the notes together
  • Students who need a little extra help: provide a copy of completed notes for them to use to fill out their page
  • Post the slideshow on Google Classroom on your LMS so students who are absent can access them. Many of my students like to use the slideshow for studying
  • Go over the notes using a variety of methods. Give the print or digital quiz. I love using the self-grading quiz because it makes life easier!
  • Help students not lose their work by keeping sketch notes in an interactive science notebook

16 Resources for 6th Grade Science

The following sketch notes sets are for 6th grade science and include a slideshow and quiz. Many also have CER writing prompts.

These resources are organized by middle school science topic below.

Ready to see the 6th-grade science sketch notes bundle? Click HERE

2 Resources to Introduce 6th Grade Science

1. 6th Grade Editable Unit Covers and Notebook Set Up

This resource has EVERYTHING you need to set up interactive science notebooks including editable unit cover pages. Set your 6th grade science students up for success with clear expectations and unit covers that have vocabulary and NGSS "I can" statements.
6th Grade Interactive Science Notebook Set Up
Click to go to TPT

2. Crosscutting Concepts
(notes, quiz, slideshow)
These notes will assist students as they learn the seven Crosscutting Concepts; Patterns, Cause and Effect, Scale, Systems, Energy and Matter, Stability and Change, and Structure and Function.

3 Resources to Introduce Cells

3. Organisms are Made of Cells (notes, quiz)

Students learn:

  • Organisms are living things like plants, animals, and single-celled organisms
  • Organisms are made of structures
  • Cells are the smallest structural and functional unit of all living things.
  • Cells are made of organelles

4. Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells and Organelles MS LS1-2 (notes, quiz, slideshow, CER)

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are simply explained to help middle school science students learn about the similarities and differences of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in a visual, creative, and engaging way.

5. Diffusion and Osmosis (notes, activities, slideshow)

One page of diffusion and osmosis notes packs in information and allows students to be creative. The lab activities are easy and fun, offer hands-on examples of osmosis and diffusion, and simply involve a gummy worm lab (or use gummy bears or other gummy candy) and tea bags.
1 Resource on Cells to Organism

6. Human Body Systems MS LS1-3 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

This one-page human body systems page of notes comes with the option to include six or eleven body systems. A slideshow guides students as they fill out the notes. 

One page graphic organizer with six human body systems includes:

  • Circulatory System
  • Respiratory System
  • Muscular System
  • Excretory System
  • Digestive System
  • Nervous System

One-page graphic organizer with 11 human body systems includes:

  • 6 systems above as well as the
  • Reproductive System
  • Skeletal System
  • Immune System
  • Integumentary Systems
  • Endocrine System

4 Resources on Weather and Climate

7. Atmosphere and Water Cycle MS ESS2-5 (notes, quiz)

These interactive science notebook activities cover the influence of gravity and the sun on the water cycle.

8. Air Masses and Weather Fronts MS ESS2-5 (notes, quiz, ppt)

This resource includes 2 pages of sketch notes cover air masses, air pressure, and weather fronts. Students collect real world data from the NOAA website.

9. What Determines Climate Patterns MS ESS2-6 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

Climate Patterns Science Sketch Notes

10. Convection in Air and Water MS ESS2-6 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

2 Resources on Energy

11. Kinetic and Potential Energy MS PS3-1, MS PS3-5 (notes quiz, slideshow)

12. Thermal Energy Transfer MS PS3-4 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

Thermal energy transfer sketch notes

3 Resources on Genetics

13. Environmental and Genetic Factors Influencing Growth MSS LS1-5 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT
14. Genetic Variation MS LS3-2 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

Genetic variation sketch notes for middle school science

15. Sexual and Asexual Reproduction MS LS1-4 (notes, quiz, slideshow)

1 Resource on Human Impact

16. Human Activities and Global Climate Change MS ESS3-5 (notes, quiz, slideshow, CER)

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

To Recap: 6th Grade Science Sketch Notes

  • are low prep
  • are engaging and simple visual notes
  • great for all types of learners
  • include slideshows and quizzes
  • time savers for teachers

P.S. Are you interested in a 6th Grade Science Sketch Note Freebie?

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