A mind map can be described as a graphic organizer or a diagram that assists students or people, in general, to visualize what they are reading and discover connections between distinct pieces of information. With a typical mind map, the subject is usually found in the middle of the map canvas, while the notes, ideas and keywords are arranged around the center.
It can also be termed as a structured strategy that shows the hierarchical relationship of various ideas, unlike unstructured strategy. Having a structured display of information before you begin to write will help you a lot since you can easily convert it into a draft.
Critical Features of a Reading Comprehension Mind Map
General information - Students can utilize this segment to gather information about the writer, where he/she lived, his/her background and how all these influenced the book. Connections between the author’s life and sections of the book can be visualized using arrows. The story’s setting should also be captured.
Characters - Understanding fictional stories is all about understanding the characters, what they care about, what drives them, and how they are connected to each other. You can visualize the connections between individual characters by using a mind map.
Plot - Students can identify the plot points via a plot framework in the mind map template that they can fill out by themselves.
New vocabulary - One major problem in reading comprehension is new vocabulary. To ensure that you comprehend and retain the new words, add the words that you don’t understand to your mind map as part of the topic or theme or separate vocabulary branch.
Themes and symbols - To have a more advanced literary analysis, you need to come up with several themes and symbols, and then each one should have a definition to remind yourself about what each term means.
What Makes Mind Maps Effective?
Unlike conventional linear notes, mind maps have numerous advantages. They include:
The radiant structure of a mind map corresponds to how our minds store and retrieve information.
Mind mapping doesn’t feel like work at all. It’s fun.
A mind map utilizes mental triggers like pictures and connections to assist your brain to memorize things easily.
It's these properties that make mind maps a great learning tool. Any person can create and use a mind map. It doesn't matter whether you’re a graduate or an employee, mind maps will assist you to structure, manage and memorize the information that you’re attempting to acquire.
A Guide to Mind Mapping
Mind maps can be created by simply using a pen and paper or an online tool. A simple paper mind map will suffice for some of the uses mentioned below. On the other hand, for some, an online mind mapping tool will work best.
One of the best brainstorming techniques is mind mapping. Creating a mind map before an exam, a written essay or other creative tasks will improve your creativity.
It will also help you;
Retrieve information from your brain easily.
Identify the connection between individual ideas and see the big picture.
Allow your thoughts to flow freely and come up with new, innovative ideas.
Mind maps can assist you to memorize different kinds of information, like the vocabulary of a second or third language.
It can be quite difficult to comprehend some texts like highly scholarly essays or old novels. They contain many words that you might not be familiar with and most have a complex structure. Note taking in a mind map while reading such texts can make it easier to comprehend the complex structure and content.
Taking Notes in Class
Many students utilize linear note taking to capture information in class. However, a mind map is the best tool for note-taking. Rather than just writing what is dictated to you in class, mind maps force you to think about what you hear and only write the important information.
Rather than writing whole sentences, you stick to the important images and keywords. You'll be able to save time during the lesson and afterward when revising your notes.
Mind maps can be used to create to-do lists and ensure that you never forget important information. Also, mind mapping software can be the best alternative here since it allows you add deadlines to the tasks in your map and check off completed tasks.
Coming Up With Presentations
You can use mind maps to present information, for instance, doing a report at work or at school. If you want your audience to be impressed, use the board to draw a mind map while talking or giving your speech. It may not be easy initially, but if you prep for it by drawing the mind map several times before your presentation, you’ll be able to easily remember it when the time for presentation comes.
If you want, you can prepare a slideshow in advance by using a mind mapping software.
For those who are not always enthusiastic about group projects, mind maps will help you enjoy them. One study revealed that 16% of the respondents declined teamwork opportunities due to several reasons. A mind map will make it easy for you to visualize what is required and work together with others to accomplish set tasks.
With this, online mapping is the way to go. With an online tool, you can share your mind map with the rest of the team members so that everyone can access and edit it together. Furthermore, you can assign tasks to your team members inside the mind map so that each person knows what is required of them.
Reviewing Lesson Notes
A mind map can be used to review class notes. If you did not take the notes on a map while in class, you can easily come up with a mind map later. Try to draw the mind map from memory, without referring to your notebook.
This is a great way of showing how much you remember. After you've completed the map, compare it with your class notes and then fill in any information that you may not have included. In the end, every time you look at your map, you will be able to memorize its content more. Moreover, working on your map, for instance, adding images, drawing connections etc., will enable you to memorize it further.
Preparing For an Exam
A mind map can be utilized to gather all the materials that will be covered in an exam, for example, class notes, reading list and chapters from the various textbooks. Also, you can write instructions from the teacher about the exam like date and time, format and what you are required to have in the exam room like a calculator.
Not only will mind maps assist you to brainstorm ideas for your topic, they are also great for gathering quotes and arguments from different sources. In addition, they will help you in outlining your essay’s structure.
There you go. Whether you’re a student or employee, the above information will greatly assist you when it comes to reading and writing comprehension with mind maps. Is there anything else that has been left out?
About the Author:
Alice Jones is a tutor & high skilled web content writer. Love sharing tips and topics about education, management, and marketing. She studied Arts in English at the University of New Orleans. She likes to read different book genres, to attend refresher training and various personal development courses. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.