If you have ELLs or struggling students in your classes, you probably have some variety of word walls in your classroom. They often take time to plan out if they are to be of any use to students. Though they help ELLs find the vocabulary they need in lessons, they frequently fall a bit short in pointing out to students those vital word and concept connections.
Mind maps fill the gaps here. Yes, the key academic words are here, but also the concepts they are tied to. For the mind maps to be effective and therefore used, students must be involved in the planning with teacher oversight (for accuracy especially). The site BUBBL.US is a free site where you can plan out mind maps either on your own or with students in a collaborative format (bubbl.us allows for sharing in developing these study tools). Please note there is a free video which takes you through the entire process in creating a mind map. It is about 8 minutes and a quick effective friendly introduction to the entire process.
What do finished BUBBL.US mind maps look like? Check them out at EXAMPLES of Bubbl.us. The limits are those of your imagination (or of the students in your class).
For the non-tech teachers, here are examples of chart paper word walls that are just as creative:) When your students become accustomed to processing learning through mind maps, you will see grades go up due a better understanding of the material.
Have fun with it:)
ELL TEACHER PROS