Mind mapping
How to make learning general revision subjects like history or biology easy

“The earlier a child learns mind mapping, the easier her learning curves will be,” says Kim Lowman emphatically. The guru of mind mapping, Tony Buzan, has now brought out a book aimed specifically at children called Mind Maps for Kids.

Mind mapping is a handy skill for all ages, and takes learning away from mere rote memorising to getting to grips with understanding the work. “80% percent of the battle is won when the children understand the work,” emphasises Kim. She suggests that no child should be without a dictionary to look up words that assist in understanding.

Here is a quick guide to mind mapping:

  1. Get your child to read through her work underlining or highlighting key concepts, ideas or vocabulary.
  2. Start off the mind map by writing a title or drawing a picture (or both) in the middle of the page encapsulating the main idea.
  3. Show your child how to group concepts together into main topics.
  4. Now draw thick branches radiating out from the central image or title.
  5. On these thick branches place the main topics by either writing a word or drawing a picture, or both.
  6. From your main branch, draw lines branching off into sub-topics. Sub-topics break down the main topics into detail.
  7. Try to get your child to use her own words when expanding into the detail of the sub-topics.

You can also encourage your child to take on the role of teacher, and “teach” her dolls or action heroes the lessons she is trying to learn. This method is particularly good for auditory learners.

Alternatively, children could act out the sequence of a history lesson, for example, using toys as the characters; or a process such as the life cycle of an ant using objects like lids, pens and erasers to act out the life stages.

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