For a lot of people, mind maps are a great tool for organising thoughts and brainstorming, and they’re considered to be very helpful in learning. Mind mapping is a versatile technique that can be used for almost any topic and be adapted to specific goals. Keep reading to find out more about what mind maps are and how they’re made.
What is a mind map?
A mind map is a visual thinking tool – a technique for visually structuring your thoughts and ideas around a specific concept. Essentially, a mind map is a diagram showing different pieces of information that are all related to a central topic or idea. 📍
A mind map can be very simple or quite complex depending on the topic at hand and the age and focus of the person creating the mind map. A great selling point for mind maps is that they’re highly versatile as a tool for learning and brainstorming, and can be used by young children, teenagers and adults alike.
Creating a mind map has been proven to boost creativity and problem solving, and is generally considered a very helpful technique for learning.
How do you create a mind map?
Mind mapping is a very versatile technique, and there are several ways to create a mind map. The traditional way to make a mind map is to simply use a pen and a piece of paper.
These are the four steps to creating a mind map:
👉 #1 Write or draw the main topic or concept in the centre of the sheet of paper.
👉 #2 Write down any information you can think of that is relevant to the subject, add sub-topics and link them back to the main theme.
👉 #3 Depending on the complexity of your mind map and the topic, add more branches to the sub-topics. You can draw lines to connect ideas that are related.
👉 #4 When your mind map is complete, review the visual representation and use it to deepen your understanding of the main topic.
For some people, it may be helpful to think of the mind map as a tree. 🌳 If the central topic is the tree trunk, the different pieces of information you write down represent the tree’s branches.
Depending on how complex the topic is, you can add a greater level of detail in your mind map, adding sub-topics to the branches which we can think of as twigs. For more complex concepts, the twigs or branches can also be linked together.
For many kids, starting out with simple mind mapping can be very helpful in their learning process. If you’d like a little extra support for your child, our skilled tutors would be happy to hold 1-1 tutoring sessions with them.
What are mind maps used for?
Mind mapping can help you develop your understanding of certain topics or concepts and help you see how things correlate. Creating a mind map has been shown to be effective for memory and learning in general. It can also be helpful for identifying knowledge gaps in your understanding of the topic at hand.
In classrooms, teachers will sometimes use the mind mapping technique with their pupils. 👩🏫 This is known to be an effective way to help kids gain a deeper understanding of whatever they’re learning, and it also encourages collaboration and creative problem-solving skills. Bitesize, BBC’s free learning platform for kids, has some great tips for developing mind maps.
If you’d like to encourage creativity in your school-age child, we have some great tips for you beyond testing out mind mapping with your kid. We’ve written about how you can use tech to promote creativity in students, and how engaging in art and play can aid learning.
What is mind map software?
While mind mapping traditionally involved a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, it’s hardly a surprise that more modern tools are available these days. Mind mapping software has been developed which helps you to brainstorm, learn and organise your thoughts using a helpful app or website. 📱
Though many still prefer to use good old-fashioned pen and paper, a lot of people appreciate the quick and dynamic way one can create a mind map using mind mapping software. There are paid options for mind map software, but there are also some great free options available.
It’s clear that mind mapping is a popular and effective tool for a lot of people, and this visual technique is well-known around the world. For kids, it’s generally considered to be very beneficial in learning. If you’d like to help your child keep on track with their learning, why not consider booking a free trial session with a GoStudent tutor? We hold 1:1 tutoring sessions in all school subjects, and we’d be happy to super-charge your kid’s learning process!