What is Mind Mapping?

What is Mind Mapping?

Mind mapping is a strategy for helping students order and structure their thinking through mentally mapping words or/and concepts. Mind maps were developed by Tony Buzan as a way of helping students make notes that used only key words and images. They are much quicker to make, and because of their visual quality much easier to remember and review. The difference between concept maps and mind maps is that a mind map has only one main concept, while a concept map may have several.

What is its purpose?

This strategy helps students quickly relate a central word or concept. The mind forms associations almost instantaneously and ‘mapping’ allows you to write your ideas quicker, using only words or phrases.

How do I do it?

To make a mind map, start in the centre of the page with the main idea, and work outward in all directions, producing a growing and organised structure composed of key words and key images. Key features are:

  • Organisation
  • Key Words
  • Association
  • Clustering
  • Visual Memory – Print the key words, use color, symbols, icons, 3D-effects,arrows and outlining groups of words
  • Outstandingness – every Mind Map needs a unique centre
  • Conscious involvement

Mind Maps help organise information. This can allow students to develop a strategy for note-taking, creative writing, report writing, studying the easy way, studying as a group, meetings, think tanks and can allevaite writer’s block.

The Process

Improving Your Mind Maps

  • Use single words or simple phrases for information
  • Print words
  • Use colour to separate different ideas
  • Use of symbols and images
  • Use shapes, circles and boundaries to connect information
  • Use arrows to show cause and effect

How can I adapt it?

  • For use with a large group as a brainstorming session
  • As a Whole Class
    • Cut out strips and circles from cardboard. Discuss the main topic, write on a circle of cardboard and place on the middle of the mat. Each child gives a main idea about the topic, and goes away and draws this idea on another circle of cardboard. Each child also writes several words about their main idea on separate slips of cardboard. As children finish, the mind map is assembled on the mat with connections being made with the strips of cardboard. This can be stapled to the wall.
  • Individually
    • Each child has a sheet of newsprint, folded in quarters. Discuss the topic. The children draw or write this in the centre of the paper. One main idea is discussed and the teacher models by developing one branch of a mind map. The children go away and in one quadrant, draw their ideas about this main topic. The class then come together again and discuss another main idea. This is then drawn on the next quadrant. Continue until the four quadrants have been completed. Links and connections do not need to be emphasised although some children will put them in as a result of the teacher’s modelling.

Teacher Resources

Source: Instructional Strategies Online