Lesson Plan

Creating Mindmaps For Research

Students will create mindmaps to faciliate the research process.
Tracey W.
Media specialist/librarian
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Bronx, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Students will be able to create a visual image that communicates a big idea, supporting ideas, and relationships among ideas.  Students will be able to prioritize topic and topic stems


Social Studies
Grades 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Exploring

Researchers use mind maps to brainstorm a picture of their inquiry topic, to figure out the aspects of the topic that are most interesting or open to inquiry, and to think through things like definitions, examples, causes, effects, and questions, etc.

A mind map has an image of the main idea in the middle, with 5-10 ideas that relate to the main idea revolving around the center, but connected by lines labeled with words that express the relationship between the two ideas.Food & supplies. For example, a mind map of the “Life of a Soldier in the American Civil War” might have an image of a soldier’s cap in the center, with ideas like “boy soldiers,” “food and supplies,”  “weaponry,” “life in the camps,” and “fighting” surrounding the center image.

Student Instructions

Turn and tell a partner what your research topic is. What would you like to learn more about it?  Use the 5Ws and 1H to help you guide this mind map.

2 Guided Practice

Inspiration Maps VPP
Free to try, Paid

Chart the following on the smartboard:

In the center of your paper or screen, draw a symbol or image that represents the main idea.

Draw branches from the main idea to 5-10 subtopics that you have gathered from prior knowledge or background information.The subtopics can be expressed as words or images.

Label the branch lines with descriptive words or verbs to express the relationship between the ideas.

Student Instructions

You may decide to extend the mind map by brainstorming smaller topics that relate to each subtopic.

You can use color, different types of print or graphics, and variations in size to ensure that your main ideas and relationships are clear.

Be creative!This is a chance to clarify an overall picture of your inquiry topic and figure out what you want to research in more detail.

Now transfer this to Inspiration Maps. This does the same thing only digitally.

3 Share & Wrap Up

Activity: Presenting

When we open up our thinking to others' ideas, we are able to expand our horizons. Let's share out what you created on the smartboard.

Student Instructions

Please display your Inspiration Maps and use the color to differentiate the sections.