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Mind Mapping or Connected or Linking Learning
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

This teaching method encourages outside the box thinking as well as teamwork. It is essentially
a thinking flow chart that maps ideas and links them in such a way as to enable educators to use integrated lessons and build upon previous learning. The creation represents the ideas of individuals and is arranged around a common theme or word. This method can be used to generate new thinking as well as cover all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy from listing to analyzing. An exceptional tool to start a lesson and to bring students into the mix.

Note: I should note that Tony Buzan has the trademark and is credited with starting mind mapping. However, I called it “linking learning” and was doing this in my classroom in the 1960s. Unfortunately, I was busy in the classroom and did not have the foresight or skill to share and publish it.

The most important part of this approach is that it allows the student to make connections more easily and relate a great many facts to one word. Users can see data from a variety of viewpoints and make connections that go far beyond what the teacher may add as they bring their own knowledge to the table.

Mind mapping enables them to see knowledge in a visual manner and allows them to organize data more easily. Remember not to be too specific when you start out and have students do this in group work is excellent and promotes thinking and sharing.

It is advantageous to use the board to provide examples of this method. Writing a dog on the board and ask students to voice ideas about what could be linked to that noun. The results could be as simple as breeds to relatives to equipment to movies. Now point to one word and ask how that relates to the others. In very little time they will make the “connections” and be able to link it to other learnings, even those in other subject areas.

To start the individuals on a project at a basic level you can use a family tree and have the students add the names of their closest relatives or those they are living with. Next, they add a detail about each one. After a few minutes, they will be adding more data. Next, ask them to make connections based on where they live, hobbies, jobs, etc. When they finish they will have compiled a basic connection of mind mapping paper. The users are now ready to write about what they learned.

I highly recommend you take a look at the resources listed and try to make one yourself before taking it to the class. It is especially effective in dealing with students and pocess limited writing skills as it helps them build their sentences step-by-step. It also enables students to see the materials using images that are easier for many of them to make connections. The use of color as well helps students track ideas. A real plus is that this connections strategy also helps improve recall/memory.

An explanation
http://www.mindomo.com/help/mind-mapping.htm

A basic site for using mind mapping.
http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/

How to use Coggle video
This is similar to mind mapping.

A video on various mind mapping tools with several examples. A good starting point.
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm

Top 30 Free Mind Mapping Tools
http://open-tube.com/top-12-best-free-mind-mapping-tools-2/

Freemind download site
As Coggle, this resource makes creating maps easy.
http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

A huge selection of mind mapping images.
http://www.google.com/search?q=mind+mapping&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ww2sUabCH6GFiAK4_IDYBg&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQsAQ&biw=1680&bih=824

Basic starter site
http://www.mindmapping.com/

YouTube videos on the subject
Some of these are well done and others are
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mind+mapping

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Great Mother’s Day lesson plan
by Alan Haskvitz
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Ringleaders/al.html

Mother’s Day cars are an excellent teaching tool as well as an opportunity for the students to learn about famous women in history.

The lesson starts with the students developing a list of positive character traits. There are some excellent sites listed below. Next, they research famous women in history and make a list of what traits those women possessed. This can either be done as as a group or as a class project.

After the research is complete the students each have to look at the traits and make a list of those traits that their mother or other care-giver have and the other famous women who shared those traits.

When this research is completed, it usually takes about two days, the students are given card stock and coloring tools and start to create their Mother’s Day cards. On the first page is a list of the famous women with a greeting such as You are Famous, Mom.

On the second or inside cover page is a list of the character traits that the students found. Older students may even be able to provide an example of each significant woman’s trait with a quote or summary of the deed(s).

On page three the student writes Happy Mother’s Day and lists the traits that their mother has and what other famous women share that favorable trait.

When the card is done the teacher needs to check it over for accuracy and offer suggestions as needed.

The result is a Mother’s Day card that is unique and highly appreciated. Depending on the student the project should take a couple of periods for the research and a period for the artwork and finalization.

Here is a site that could help the student start their research. It is about the character traits of Amelia Earhart.
http://ameliaearhartsce.weebly.com/character-traits.html

Famous women in history
Lessons, videos, and more
http://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/

Time for Kids
Famous women stories
http://www.timeforkids.com/minisite/womens-history-month

Excellent list of important women
From Scholastic, short biographies by last name.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/women/notable.htm

What is character?
This article explains character and gives several good examples.
http://www.character-training.com/blog/list-of-character-traits/

For the more traditional approach, here are some tried and true ideas.

Mother’s Day Craft Ideas
http://atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/Mother_s_Day/
http://www.teachingheart.net/mompage.htm

Basic site with brief history of Mothers Day and Projects
http://holidays.mrdonn.org/mothersday.html

Games for Mother’s Day
For younger students
http://www.akidsheart.com/holidays/mday/mdgms.htm

W omen’s Rights lessons
For older students
http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=435

Songs that teach

By Alan Haskvitz

http://www.reacheverychild.com

Research has clearly shown that music is a great way to help students learn concepts. Indeed, it is part of the multiple intelligences that Howard Gardner has developed. Here are some terrific sites where you can download lyrics that help teach most every subject.

A large listing of all types of songs. A great place to start.

http://www.reacheverychild.com/arts/music/index.html

Language Arts Songs that Teach
English Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Very complete site

http://www.songsforteaching.com/grammarspelling.htm

Always Fun: Schoolhouse Rock

http://www.schoolhouserock.tv/

Songs and poems for elementary

From Canada

http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems.html

Elementary songs including math jingles

http://www.teachingheart.net/sing.html

Their, there, they’re song
http://suzyred.com/there.html

Spelling Rules
http://www.gardenofpraise.com/spell1.htm

Math Songs and Poems

http://www.mscc.cc.tn.us/webs/vyoung/songs/Main_Pages/Tables.htm

Musical Multiplication
http://www.gardenofpraise.com/multi.htm

Continents Song

http://www.hawaii.edu/hga/Lessons/mapmake/CONtinentS.html

Songs that teach science

Printable

http://www.richmond.k12.va.us/schools/munford/Library/sciencesongs.pdf

Songs that teach history

http://www.classroomclassics.com/filecabinet/htmlfiles/G3.html

Songs that teach the states

And more about geography

http://www.mrsjonesroom.com/songs/50states.html

50 State capitals song

http://www.pedagonet.com/blog/2006/05/50-state-capitals-song.html

Bill of Rights and Historical Documents Songs

http://www.classroomclassics.com/filecabinet/htmlfiles/G11.html

Children’s Songs

Not necessarily for teaching

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/musicchild.htm

Using the Beatles to teach ESL

http://www.nifl.gov/nifl-esl/2002/1453.html

ESL worksheets

http://www.esl-galaxy.com/articles/Using%20English%20videos%20and%20music%20in%20EFL%20article.htm

Language Arts Songs

http://suzyred.com/music.html

Always fun and catchy, but not all about school oriented subjects.

Animaniacs Mega Lyrics File

http://www2.cruzio.com/~keeper/AMLF.html