Mind map

This strategy will help students to:

  • identify and visually record current understandings

  • summarise key information, clarify relationships or associations between information and ideas and draw conclusions.


  1. Explain the strategy and ensure that students understand that mind maps are personal representations and as such they are not ‘right' or ‘wrong'. 

  2. Select a topic and write this in the centre of a page or blackboard.

  3. Students then identify connected key words or phrases and write these around the topic, progressively moving to less directly related words. Remind students to write only what is important as excess words ‘clutter' mind maps and take time to record.

  4. Identify links between different ideas and draw lines to highlight connecting ideas.

  5. The structure of each mind map is unique. A completed mind map may have lines radiating in all directions with sub topics and facts branching off the main topic.

Some tips for creating effective mind maps

Mind maps can include:

  • drawings, wavy lines, bubbles, arrows and colour to add to the visual appeal

  • colours to separate and organise ideas for easier recall

  • pictures or symbols which help with the recall of information

  • bubbles, shapes and circles to group similar information and ideas

  • arrows to indicate cause and effect.

Adapted from: Bennett, B., Rolheiser, C., and Stevhan, L. Cooperative learning: Where heart meets mind. Toronto: Educational Connections, 1991.