I came across this interesting article, “Opening the Door: Teaching Students to Use Visualization to Improve Comprehension” by Education World with a step by step approach on how to teach students visualization skills for increased understanding and retention. This is a great way to incorporate mind mapping as well to provide a tool for the brainstorming and drawing phase of their visualization process.
Some kids enjoy reading but many dread it, finding it to be boring and frustrating, especially reading textbooks and other school assignments. Most see it as a passive activity and would rather be playing outside or engaging in other active past times. This article demonstrates, however, how to make reading an active rather than passive activity with the following easy to follow steps:
Step 1: Modeling the Technique is where the teacher reads aloud text and then describes what images come to mind for the students to observe this active process in reading.
Step 2: Students Practice Visualizing is the stage where the teacher reads passages to the students, and they are encouraged to close their eyes and become aware of images that come to mind associated with the words read.
Step 3: Sharing Visualizations is the part where the students discuss as a group the images they created in their minds while listening to the passages the teacher read.
Step 4: Using Drawing to Help Students Visualize is the stage where mind mapping fits in well. Students are instructed to draw images that come to mind as they listen to the text read to them. Drawing the images reinforces their comprehension and retention. Mind mapping would be beneficial here, because when creating mind maps you can use words as well as images and other visual icons and features to even further promote understanding, enjoyment, and recall. In addition, mind maps would help the students to expand on their initial images/words and continue to map out fresh, new ideas as well. Students would be using their right and left brain with the mind maps to optimize learning.
Once students feel comfortable using mind maps for these types of exercises, they can begin to incorporate maps in many other school and personal activities such as note taking, presentations, and task management.