Friday, February 1, 2013

Mind Mapping and the Common Core

Second Graders create "All About Me" Mind Maps on iPod Touches using the SimpleMind+ App. 
With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as 
needed by revising and editing.
 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish 
writing, including in collaboration with peers.
Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

What is mind mapping? 

Mind Mapping is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structure information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall, and generate new ideas. 
In a mind map, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a much, much richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. It is easy and FUN!
You can use mind mapping in your classroom in many ways- note taking, planning, summarizing, prewriting, sorting, brainstorming, studying/memorizing, problem solving, etc. It helps clarify thinking in many ways. 
While studying adjectives students made mind maps to describe themselves. It was amazing how this activity helped students better understand adjectives. 

Here a few student made mind maps.

 This was also a great activity to use to teach how to use the SimpleMind+ App itself. I look forward to using this SimpleMind+ App to analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall, and generate new ideas throughout the year!

Here are a few "All About Me" Mind Maps made on iPod Touches.

We will use these later to write descriptive paragraphs. 

There are several Mind Mapping Apps, but here are 4 that I have used: 
SimpleMind+ (mind mapping) for iPod, iPhone, iPad
Mind mapping tool that turns your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device. 
SimpleMind+ App is the easiest one to use with 2nd graders on iPods and it's FREE! Can't change the colors or shapes. When students are ready for more features they can use the apps below.

iThoughtsHD (mindmapping)  iPad ONLY!
iThoughtsHD is a mind mapping tool for the iPad. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch then please check out iThoughts.

iThoughtsHD is the best mind mapping app but $9.99 and more features than I need for 2nd graders. Great for higher grades and for adults!

Mindomo (mind mapping) iPad ONLY!
Great app and FREE! Many features- more than I need for 2nd graders. 
Unleash the power of your ideas with mind mapping. 
Capture your thoughts directly on mind maps, turn them into presentations on the fly, and share them with others. Synchronize your maps to the cloud, from any device.

Idea Sketch for iPod, iPhone, iPad
Idea Sketch lets you easily draw a diagram - mind map, concept map, or flow chart - and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa. You can use Idea Sketch for anything, such as brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts, making lists and outlines, planning presentations, creating organizational charts, and more!

I couldn't quite get Idea Sketch to work myself. I could never get the shapes to connect even after following the "HELP" directions.  FREE! 

Do you use mind maps with your students? If so, please leave me a comment about one of your ideas :)  I'd love to try!


  1. This is a great post! I love using mind maps and I found a great tool if you have access to some computers called Lucidchart. It is free for students/educators and it is very easy to use.

    1. Thank for the suggestion! Haven't heard of it so I will check it out ASAP!


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