This article is aimed at schooling going children, teenager and adults may find the idea of some use also.
What is mind mapping?
The best thing about mind mapping is it's an easy way to get information in and out of your brain. You don't have to take long boring notes that only end up confusing you so it makes studying a lot easier. It can also be a way to jot down ideas for project planning. A mind map is made up of lines, words, colours and pictures much nicer than black or blue written notes.
Why do mind mapping instead of taking notes?
Well notes can get you bogged down in a lot of information that make it harder to learn. They can also be very boring to read and sometimes the words just blend together. Mind maps are very colourful using as I said colours, pictures, words and lines. These work better as they get both sides of your brain to work together in remembering the main topic and it's keywords. When you engage both sides of the brain to study or plan out projects it's a bit harder to be dragged away it or distracted by other things.
What does a mind map look like?
It looks a bit like this and please use as much colour for each branch as you can. A different colour for each branch helps you retain the information. Each branch can have more branches that represents key words for each of the main topics key points. The example below looks at conflict as the main topic. It then goes on to see where each type of conflict could occur: interpersonal; intergroup; international. Each of these keywords are broken down further if needed. So Interpersonal = work; family; friends. Remember a colourful map like this with keywords is easier than a lot of boring hand written notes.
How to do a mind map.
I bet a lot of you already know how to do a mind map by just looking at the pictures above but let me give you some of the pointers all the same.
- Use a plain blank piece of paper placed sideways.
- Draw a picture in the middle of the page that sums up your main topic. Now label it. From the example the above main topic is conflict.
- Draw curved lines in different colours coming out if that drawing to represent the main keywords: interpersonal; international; intergroup. These represent your sub-topics. Use coloured pens to write these words and underline them.
- Next from each of your sub-topic/keywords draw any further lines you need to represent your next main points: family; work; friends are for interpersonal. Again draw a picture to represent these and add names. add as many branches as you need it's like drawing branches on a tree.
Remember these key points
When you want to draw a mind map you need to think of:
- What, Where, When, Who, What and Result.
So that you take your topic and ask yourself: What happened, Where did it happen, When did it happen, Who was involved, What was going on and what did it all Result in.
Or if you were planning your party what about What time, Where will it be held, When is it taking place - date and time, Who is invited, What will happen -food, games and the Result well one great party!
2. Writing a story: Introduction; Main body of story; Conclusion
So you want to write an essay or english story for class. Let's get those ideas down before you start.
Main topic; the map of one branch for your Introduction and any little branches are the point s you want to make in your introduction.
Next branch is for the main points or main piece of your story so lots of little branches here - all the things that will happen in the story.
The last branch is for the Conclusion - you always need an ending.
I think you get the idea from these two examples but if you'd like further information have a look at Mind Mapping for Kids by Tony Buzan.
Your mind mapping tool box.
Plain blank paper is best.
Markers or coloured pencils
Book or notes from which you get your main topic and key words
Why not give it a try? Always make it colourful, underline main or keywords and draw pictures. Adults can use this technique too for work projects or home and garden planning.