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Activities,  August 29, 2006

Mapping: A YouthLearn Recipe for Brainstorming

Using Graphic Organizers: Mapping

Mapping is a simple and wonderfully versatile technique that you can use with your colleagues and kids for brainstorming, organizing thoughts, and generating ideas. They can be used to define a curriculum, plan a project, select a theme, develop a simple story or to add energy and enthusiasm to a repetition-based exercise such as pattern writing.

Whether you're doing a project with the whole class, breaking up into teams or working on individual projects, mapping should be a part of almost every group activity—and you should do lots of group activities. The reason is practical as well as philosophical. If you allow group members to suggest their own ideas and make their own decisions (within the parameters of your educational goals, of course), they will be much more engaged, positive and enthusiastic than if you make all the decisions yourself and simply distribute assignments. What's more, two minds are always more creative than one, and 10 minds are even more so. Kids will come up with a lot of great ideas that would never occur to you, so use that fact in every way that you can. For more, see A Collaborative Approach to Learning.

Posted by wrivenburgh on August 29, 2006 | Activities