Mind Mapping

A strategy for making connections that last.

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Background

Mind Mapping is a technique which helps illustrate ideas and concepts, creating a visual thinking tool for learning new information. Mind Maps have a typical structure which consists of a central main idea from which sub topics radiate outward. They use lines, words, symbols, colors and images to connect one idea to another using visual representation of a certain topic to increase comprehension, analysis and synthesis. Mind Mapping is a brain based technique which has been proven to improve memory and increase word recall in children. It has also been proven to increase long term memory when learning factual information. This engaging and motivating technique keeps students on task and attending to the topic at hand, as well as helps them organize their ideas so they can make sense of the way topics relate with each other. The visual representation that a mind map creates is unique to each person and truly maps out an individual's roadway to lasting learning.

Examples

Mind Mapping can be used with children of all ages and abilities. It can also be used with or without technology. The key benefit of using technology when creating a mind map is the ability to add images and videos which best illustrate the concepts being studied. The examples pictured below were created using Google Drawing during a science unit on energy. They help illustrate the different forms of energy which were studied. Mind maps, such as the ones pictured below, can be created as new material is introduced. This strategy can also be utilized at end of a unit of study to help with review and recall, or during brainstorming sessions to help generate new ideas. Two main things to notice is the difference in each map, as well as the use of digital media to help solidify concepts and thinking.


Other free programs which can be used specifically for mind mapping are mindmup and mindmaple.

Open your Mind to Mind Mapping! Try it with your students today!

References

Hyerle, D. (2008). Thinking maps: Visual tools for activating habits of mind. Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Alexandria, IL:

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 149-174. Retrieved on October 8, 2015 from http://www.thinkingfoundation.org/david/books/habits_of_mind.pdf



Think Buzan LTD. Mind mapping: Scientific research and studies. Retrieved on Octobe 8, 2015 from http://b701d59276e9340c5b4d-ba88e5c92710a8d62fc2e3a3b5f53bbb.r7.cf2.rackcdn.com/docs/Mind%20Mapping%20Evidence%20Report.pdf


Mode De Vie Software. My thoughts mind-map - Users and uses of mind maps. [Image}. Available from https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythoughtsformac/5237238019/