Our school’s literacy coach, Andrea Hillbrick, recently showed me some information about 3D mind mapping which she had seen being used with early years learners to help them develop Oral Language and sentence structure. I have used Mind Mapping (Tony Buzzan) with year one and two children in the past and was thinking of a way to introduce the concept to our prep children, so this was perfect.
Our topic for the Mind Map was the Rugby World cup which has started recently in New Zealand. This was a topic our prep children did not know too much about. We began by laying out photos and items on the floor and then developing language to explain or question the items. If we could find links between items than we tried to link them on our sentence strip…or if we has statements to make, or questions to raise these were written on the bubbles. I scribed most of the language so that the children could focus on their oral language, thinking and discussion.
The results of the process were fantastic, the children were engaged and interested in the topic, enjoyed the kinesthetic nature of the thinking and began to understand how items could be grouped and connected on the mindmap.
After the session we went outside to play some rugby which the children loved too. It was really interesting however that at the end of the day, a couple of the children said that their favourite part of the day was the ‘Mindmap because they enjoyed learning about Rugby’. This really blew me away as I expected them to say…’the outside games’ (which a number did!). We will definitely use this approach again with the students. Thanks Andrea for the tip off.
If any other teacher’s want to give this a try I have uploaded some PDF pages which explain more about the process.