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.