August 2, 2012

Note Taking: Mind Mapping

There are so many different theories as to how to properly take notes out there...well here's another one to add to the list. You may have already heard of this method, and if so, hopefully this is a good refresher course.

Mind Mapping is a way of taking notes while sort of creating a picture. The importance here is color chunking.

How To:
1) You start with the main concept you're taking notes about in the center of the page [paper turned horizontally]. Usually we have the students draw a picture for that main concept as well. You'll see below that I drew a feather pen for Shakespeare.
2) Then you add the first "branch". The branch goes from thick to thin. When you write the word on the branch, the word needs to take up the whole length of the branch.
3) Then any additional information belonging to that branch gets added on. STICK WITH THE SAME COLOR. Each branch is its own color.
4) The next branch, or sub-point, is a different color. All ideas associated with that branch remain that same color.

Below you'll see a mind map I'm going to have my students do for Shakespeare. They'll take notes about Shakespeare by creating this Mind Map and using the color chunking method.
My attempt at the Shakespeare Mind Map. I'm sure the kids' will look better :)

Hope this gives you another idea for taking notes. Sometimes it's nice to just mix it up and keep the students interested & on their toes!

Share a Comment: What is your most successful note taking strategy?

-Ms. W


  1. I love this. I have done it before, but not been entirely diligent about making them use the colors. I think that makes it more fun!

  2. I am not diligent about it either. I think I'm going to use it for specific notes this for Shakespeare and a few others. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That is one creative mind map! :) Teaching the children how to apply mind mapping in their studies will help them be more organized with their ideas. It would even enhance their memorization and ability to recall information. It can also make them better see the important aspects and ideas of a certain subject matter.

    Alexandra Gale

    1. Thanks Alexandra! It can be so helpful for them, but I struggle with the right time to use it so that it best meets all the purposes...