Mind Maps

An activity I like to use with just about any age group - kindergarten to college students - is Mind Maps.  A Mind Maps is a graphic representation of a student's understanding of a specific topic.  Mind Maps always include text, color and images - as the mind experiences things multi-sensorially.

Above and below you can see my college students' maps on special education topics.  Any topic under the sun (and including the sun) and be made into a Mind Map.  There is so much mileage with this activity, which is probably why it is so effective for learning.

I usually create my own map first and share it with students - that way they get a sense of what a Mind  Map is and looks like.  Then, I set them free with supplies - plain paper, crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils.  Always, like magic, students are thoroughly engaged while creating their maps.  It is what I call the Mind Map hum.  Students rarely converse, but instead get right down to business creating their maps; I have never had a student be unengaged.  Never (knock on wood).

For added bonus, I sometimes have students give each other feedback on their maps using a feedback tool like these.

How about this?  If you create Mind Maps with your students, could you post a photo to our Facebook page?  Then, we all can ooh and ahh over them.  Of course. be sure to ask your students' permission first.  My college students are an agreeable bunch!