Mind mapping helps children organize their thoughts and greatly simplify what they learn. There are several ways to approach this way of accelerated education. We will be discussing the most popular version taught by Tony Buzan, who, arguably, originated mind mapping.
Mind mapping allows anyone of nearly any age to record an idea, help brainstorm and problem solve, even take notes during class. It's very visual, organic, colorful and creative. And it's a fantastic way to keep from getting bored during class because students are engaging the creative (right) and logical (left) parts of their brain while making one. This action keeps children more alert and will help them learn more and easily retain a lot more information in a short amount of time.
A Two Hour Lecture Presented From One Piece of Note Paper!
Several years ago I knew a trainer who went into large corporations to train employees in new management and corporate culture development skills. His presentation lasted almost two hours and was so interesting that afterwards many attendees requested his lecture notes. Guess what he handed them: A one-sided piece of note paper with his entire presentation as a mind map!
Back then, mind mapping wasn't even on the radar. Few had never heard of it let alone seen one and yet, here was a highly paid trainer presenting break-through self-development concepts in hundreds of corporations around the world using only one piece of paper!
Learn more: Watch the Mind Mapping Video Below
How We Think is a Key to How We Learn
Experts in the field of learning and psychology tell us that the brain thinks by imagination and association. When transferring our thoughts or what we experience onto paper, traditional note-taking in lists and lines don't work as well as mind mapping. This is because note-taking is missing the associations component that mind mapping includes. I find it helps considerably to associate one thought to another when trying to remember something. For example, when I misplace my car keys, the first thing I do is think back to when I last used them. Then, I imagine what I did next, and next, and so forth until I reach present time. That's when I usually get my "Eureka!" and remember where I left those keys that grew legs and walked away.
That's how mind mapping works: Every concept or thought is illustrated on paper in a way that links everything together either directly or indirectly. Pretty neat idea!
Try Making a Mind Map Yourself! Here are the Rules:
1. Start in the middle of a large blank piece of paper. If the subject is about a book you're required to read and it's a several-word title, figure out one "keyword" for that book. For example, if the book title is, "The History of Spartan Society," make the center keyword, "Spartans" or "Spartan Society".
2. When you discover a main topic, draw a large curved trunk (like a tree) from the center keyword/picture. Write only ONE word for that main topic. As you discover other main topics related to the main subject, make other large trunks.
3. Branch off with smaller curvy branches for sub-topics relating to the main topic.
4. Important! Use only one word per branch in the entire mind map. If you need to write two words for one topic or sub-topic, draw another small curvy branch off the end of the other.
5. Only make branches as long as the word itself, not a long branch with a small word. (See image above for a visual).
6. Get messy! It's okay to scribble out stuff and cross things out. That's part of the creative process. When you refined your mind mapping the way you want, you can redraw the final if you want on a clean piece of paper. Redrawing is also recommended to help further anchor the information in your mind.
7. Use lots of pictures! As the saying goes, "A picture's worth a thousand words." Remember, you don't have to be an artist!
8. Also, use lots of colors!
9. Leave as much white space as possible around your words and concepts.
10. Search the internet for samples of mind mapping for ideas how to draw yours.< 11. Get crazy with your imagination and most of all, have fun!
Tony Buzan created some great mind mapping software. Below is a video demonstration for those interested: