When making a mindmap, it is important to use as few words as possible.  Why?

  • The cognitive benefit is that it forces summarising.
  • Summarising is not about using fewer words. It is really about identifying the important, main ideas. These ideas promote clear thinking as they provide a way of organising information - for the specific task at hand, and for the future.
  • These are expressed in keywords - words which gather related and similar ideas into a powerful concept (e.g. remediation, evolution, state capture, soil erosion).
  • Cognitive growth and academic rigour require us as teachers to scaffold students as they build concept networks.
  • Being able to work with keywords and main ideas is a basic skill behind reading, summarising, searching, planning, writing, making speeches, etc.

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