Mind Mapping for Kids: How Elementary Students Can Use Mind Maps to Improve Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking
Written by Toni Krasnic
Cautionary Note; This book is not intended to be read and forgotten; be prepared to spend time putting it to the test! Krasnic’s goal is to engage elementary students to use mind maps to connect the dots not just collect them. Once that task is accomplished, students can see and use the big picture to ask meaningful questions allowing them to become better readers and learners. The author’s purpose is to provide a guide for teachers and parents to help young students use mind maps to improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking.
Krasnic divides the book into three parts. Part One explains the fundamental principles of visual mapping both in mind mapping and concept mapping. In the second part, the Concise Reading Method (CRM) is fully explained. This technique marries the eight reading strategies to mind maps. These strategies will sound familiar. They include Summarizing, Applying Previous Knowledge, Visualizing, Evaluating, Synthesizing Information and then asking Critical Questions. Teachers and parents working with the common core curriculum will recognize many of these. Part Three contains enrichment activities with additional examples, templates, and tips for students, parents and teachers on how to use these techniques.
The author speaks to each of the target audiences. Teachers are encouraged to experiment and teach children to use their unique abilities and interests to create many kinds of maps Students are urged to believe in themselves by taking control of their learning and assuming personal responsibility for their education. Parents of very young children must allow their children to choose what and how to learn by facilitating their natural curiosity. Once a child becomes school-aged, a parent needs to partner with the school and display the child’s work throughout the home.
The materials in this book are comprehensive but well organized and easy to follow. Readers are encouraged to ask questions and seek additional assistance. The drawings and illustrations make the concepts easy to understand. I urge parents, teachers and students to spend some time looking them over. Time and energy invested now might last a lifetime.
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