Mind Map

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Lesson Summary

Mind maps are a great way to assess the prior knowledge that students have on a particular concept, subject, theme or idea. They can also be used as a summative assessment at the end of a lesson, to assess what students have learned about a topic. 


Has anyone ever done a mind map or a concept map before in school? This is a fun way for us to record what we learn and cool things we see and experience while we are here at IW. We’ll be taking a look at our mind maps periodically to check in on our learning and make connections all week.

Skills: Reflection, goal-setting

Age group: 9-99 Venue/s: Indoor spaces or flat place outdoors where kids can focus

Materials: Poster paper; markers, journals

Time: 20-30 minutes

Set up: None


The core lesson:

Begin by showing students your mind map with the theme/question of the day written in already. Have them copy this into their mind map page in their journals more.

For example, if your question/theme of the week is “How are the parts on an environment connected?” you may want them to write that question/theme into their mind maps and then give them a chance to brainstorm in pencil what they think it is. Afterwards they can share their ideas with the group. This is a perfect way to assess your group’s current understanding in regards to this type of vocabulary. At the end of each day, return to the mind map and have them fill in what they saw, what they did, and what things they learned about and any questions they have formulated. Hopefully they will learn more about interconnections and now they can go back and change some of their guesses into more solid ideas. Invite each person to share an idea that they included, and ask others to include the ideas on their own maps. 


When everyone has had a chance to mention something, ask for any final ideas and then tell them that you'll be revisiting the mind map at the beginning and end of each day as a way to map out the learning and other experiences through the week. . Explain how this map will become a resource to help them remember their IslandWood experience once they get back home so the more they put on their maps the better.

Safety Considerations

Make sure that all people are heard.


They will assess themselves in conceptual learning, as well as behavior, as the days progress.