Sunday, July 8, 2012

Using Mind Maps in Elementary


Using Mind Maps in Elementary

I've been using MindMaple for many of my personal and professional organizational needs, and I wanted to see if my seven year old daughter could use the software to create a mind map.  I had her jot her thinking onto a story element graphic organizer.  I used this free one from Scholastic (click here).  After discussing the book, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and completing the organizer, we opened MindMaple to begin working.

I have the full version ($9.99) for MindMaple on my desktop at home, but on my laptop I just installed the Lite version (free).   To complete this project, Riley used the Lite version.  The program was really easy for her to use.  At first, the topics and sub-topics were not formatting the way she wanted them to, so she simply pushed the back arrow and tried again.  In no time, she was navigating the software with ease. 

The toolbar is simple and easy to use!

What I liked best is that she kept wanting to add topics beyond what the original graphic organizer had required.  To extend this activity, we began discussing sub-topics she could include.  

We generated the following list of additional sub-topics:

  • other works by the same author
  • a personal connection to the story
  • her review (opinion) of the book

After extending the activity, Riley's new mind map looks like...



As a teacher, I like that I can print these beautiful MindMaple maps out to display in our room.  They'll also be a great portfolio addition to the student's body of work.  If you're limited on computers in your classroom, this could easily become a collaborative project for groups.

I noticed that she was writing more than we originally planed for.  She continued to think of the story in different ways.  I think it would be interesting to have her begin to compare and contrast different stories based on author's technique/craft, character actions, and  story elements.


Everything Riley did to create her mind map was with the free Lite version!

MindMaple just had a contest where they awarded the winner with a $250 Amazon gift card.  To enter the contest, participants were  asked to submit their most creative mind map.  Here are two entries they featured on their Facebook page (be sure to like their Facebook to stay up to date for the next contest - imagine what you could buy with $250 from Amazon!).

click the image to see the large image and full post
 
click the image to see the large image and full post



Be sure to Like MindMaple on Facebook to see great examples of maps!


Disclaimer: MindMaple is a sponsor of this site.

13 comments:

  1. That is very cool! I had never heard of it before, I can't wait to try it out!
    ~Heather
    http://themeekmoose.blogspot.com

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  2. Heather,

    Thanks! I think you'll find it's realty easy to use. I look forward to hearing how it works out for you.

    Best,

    Erin

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  3. This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I often try out new software/technology/teaching ideas with my 6 year old. The other day he said he liked that I was a teacher because I think of fun things to do and then he said, "just think if you were a mad scientist!" Can't wait to try this out with him.

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  4. That is so awesome! I started playing with it and loved the different file types you could save it as. :) I even posted about it on my blog :)

    http://shuttersandscribbles.blogspot.com/2012/07/mindmaple-program.html

    I can't wait to use this with my class!

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  5. Mindmaple is great! It is helping me transition my book planning from a drawing pad to something I can take with me everywhere I go. Excellent, Erin!

    Steady,
    Marquin

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  6. This looked really neat, but going to their site it appears to be PC only. :(

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  7. Marquin,

    Thank you for sharing!

    Jason,

    I'll check and see about a Mac version

    Best,

    Erin

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  8. I am so glad I stumbled across your blog today. I teach first grade and think this is a wonderful I could use. I'm trying to increase technology use in my classroom and school. This summer I'm learning everything I can about the iPad I got last year. It's fun and exciting, and now I wish I had one for all my students.

    I'll be trying out mindmaple this next year.

    Joell
    Totally Terrific Teaching

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  9. there truly is nothing new under the sun. when i was in school (b.p.c. -- before personal computers) we did this very exercise with, yes, pencil and paper, and called it "webbing" ;-) given the age we are in now, i can see how appealing this would be to today's students to create technologically. fantastic ! :)

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  10. Joell,

    Thanks for your feedback. I agree, the iPad is exciting. There are so many possibilities.

    I'd love to hear how MindMaple works for you.

    Best,

    Erin

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  11. Lori,

    I agree - we did similar activities when I was in schoo, too. I enjoy how technology is enhancing these activities for kids today.

    Thanks so much for your feedback,

    Erin

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  12. I agree with this tips. Sometimes it's difficult to organize yourself. You always should count money and your time. You made a great tips. I learned a lot. I heard one suggestion about "Don’t jump steps". To my mind it's very important to have a curriculum. Sometimes I am an unorganized, to be more I try to use best mind mapping software. It helps me to organize my thoughts, make my mind more clearly.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, this http://essays.mightystudents.com post is really one of a kind, never read so much information in a blog post.

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