Most people think Peter Pan was the protagonist, but all we see is a young boy who kidnaps a whole bunch of kids and terrorizes an old one-handed man. Peter Pantagonist, more like.
|5th Grade||Language Arts|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
Mind maps are a visual way of organizing ideas about a topic.
And they’re pretty useful for school, too.
Sometimes––or…maybe a lot of the time–
–you’ll have lots of different ideas about a topic.
With the mind map, we can organize these different ideas into a more manageable form.
We can even use subcategories, which are probably going to become your new favorite things.
And all of this in turn can help lead to thinking about a topic in a new, organized way!
Mind maps are also a great tool for meta-cognition…
… which is just a fancy word that means “thinking about thinking.”
Like you’re doing right now.
Oooh….it's like we're inside of your brain…
…Wow. You think a lot about pizza.
Anyway. Let's hit pause on the whole "pizza" thing and try an example.
Step 1 – Blank sheet of paper. Bam! Already nailing it.
Step 2 - Put your main topic – or what you want to brainstorm about - in a circle in
the middle of the map.
Let’s say the main topic for our essay is going to be “cats”. So we write it down.
Now we let our minds run wild and think about things related to cats…
… let’s see… there’s cats in the wild…
… cats as pets…
… cat food…
… cat litter…
… Cats the musical…
Ever heard the phrase “no wrong answers”? That really applies here.
Anything related to the main topic that you draw in your map is going to be useful.
If, after this initial brainstorming, you’re still uncertain as to what you want to write
about, you can divide some of your ideas into subcategories.
Remember? Your new favorite things?
So for instance, with “Cats as pets.”
There’s famous cats…
There’s cats being revered in Ancient Egypt…
There's your doofy cat stepping on your face at seven AM and waking you up…
And so on and so forth.
Once you’re done brainstorming, look at your whole map, and look for connections that
might be the basis of an essay you’d enjoy writing.
For example, maybe you want to write an essay comparing how cats were revered in Ancient
Egypt to how they’re viewed today.
And there you go. All it took was a mind map to get from a bunch of random ideas to a well-thought
Just keep it away from Mr. Fluffers.