Friday, February 25, 2011

Thinking Maps--Intelligent Graphic Organizers:)

As an instructional coach, I am always looking for new ideas, websites, strategies, etc. to share with the teachers I mentor. As you can imagine, I make it a point to try everything out before I pass the information on to others. Our English language learners need lots of assistance if they are to pass our classes and hopefully go on to college eventually.

One success I have experienced is working with MIND MAPS . On pages 4 and 5 of the link I have given you provides you with all 8 maps (there are only 8 and can be used with any content area) along with details of how each is used. This tool supports our students in trying to complete complex tasks where language is sometimes an obstacle. Mind maps help them access information and then demonstrate their understanding of it in a variety of original ways. In the link that follows, you will see teachers learning how to use them and their students creating them- Thinking Maps Training. I was really impressed with what the youngest students generated. I also was impressed by their use in math class for ELLs.

I have only worked with half of the tools since I have beginning ELLs and our material is not as complex as the material found in the content areas. However with this experience, I have coached teachers in the use of the tools I have successfully used with my students and offered to co-teach the use of the more complex mind-maps when they are ready.

Try these tools--I guarantee your students will really enjoy them!

Share your results:)



  1. Check out my group's website on facebook (www.ellteacherpros.com) and follow us on twitter.


  2. Denise,

    What areas of ELD have you used mind maps in?


  3. I have used them for writing activities primarily, but also to take notes. My students like the double bubble. It is like a venn-diagram, but more organized.