I’ve used Mind Maps/ Brainstorms since I was in secondary school – I found they helped me with studying and having all the information on the page was great for revision purposes too. When planning I always use a mind map and when thinking of ideas for blogposts I do the same. While reading some of the psychological reports and speech and language reports for the children I’m working with – Mind Maps books by Tony Buzan were recommended so I decided to buy the books from Amazon. I think the 3 of them came to about 30 euro with delivery! I bought
- Mind Maps for Kids (An Introduction – The Shortcut to Success at School)
- Mind Maps for Kids (Study Skills)
- Mind Maps for Kids (Max your Memory and Concentration)
The books are written for children and therefore explain things really well – the books talk about the brain and how each side has a different function. The left is often associated with logic, words, numbers, sequence, lists, analysis etc. but the right side is associated with colour, daydreaming, imagination, awareness, rhythm and dimension.
In school children take notes, make lists, practice handwriting, write stories – all of this is done (mostly) on lined paper in perfectly ruled copies – this means they only use the right side of their brain – so half of the child’s brain is not being used.
Mind maps are just one way to use both sides of the brain and I have seen huge benefits in using mind maps with the children in the resource room this year.
Picture this; our brains think in colours and pictures. If you hear ‘your house’ – an image immediately pops into your head. (A computer printout of the word written in a line across a page isn’t what you think of).
Our brains think and remember in pictures so mind maps incorporate pictures and words to cater for both sides of the brain.
How to make a mind map
So far I’ve used mind maps for vocabulary work – a topic is picked and the children then mind map around the topic.
Today we looked at ‘My House’
Last week we looked at ‘My Favourite Things’
(I completed this on lined paper – but plain paper is better)
We also did mindmaps on rooms of the house covering; appliances, furniture, use etc.
They can be used for anything and everything and are brilliant tools for expanding vocabulary and remembering key information. The children really enjoy making them too!