Lesson Plan: Creating Mind Maps


55 min

What you need:

For a full list of required materials, refer to the 'Materials Needed' heading down below.

Lesson Overview

Mind maps are a brilliant reflection tool students can use to demonstrate what they have learned in a visually creative manner. It allows them to explore their knowledge, apply critical thinking skills and summarise key concepts on a page. In this easy-to-run activity, students will learn the basic components of a mind map and how to apply this to a topic they have recently finished learning about. Mind maps are also perfect for use as an end-of-year activity or as a creative way to engage students in or after remote learning situations.

Teaching Focus Year Level

Years 3-4 (Middle Year Primary). 
This activity can be easily adapted to suit a F-2 class or to go further with Years 5 & 6. 

Australian Curriculum Connections

Level 3 and 4 English: Creating Texts
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features and selecting print, and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose. (ACELY1682) and (ACELY1694)

Downloadable Resources

Prepare & print the following resources for your students in advance. Each student needs 1 of each of the A4 resources (3 sheets total). 

Mind Map Guidelines

A template of a mind map with four main ideas branching off from the core idea. Each of the four main ideas have a selection of sub-ideas.

1 copy per student. Print on A4 paper. 
Click here to download!


Mind Map Example

A mind map about energy.

1 copy per student. Print on A4 paper.
Click here to download!

Mind Map Template

A blank mind-map template that shows five empty bubbles - one core idea bubble, and four sub-idea bubbles.

1 copy per student. Print on A4 paper.

Click here to download!

Materials Needed

Gather these items before your session begins for an easy, stress-free lesson. 

  • Faber-Castell graphite pencils
  • Faber-Castell erasers
  • Faber-Castell colour pencils
  • Faber-Castell Connector Pens or other Faber-Castell colour markers
  • Paper for planning
  • Mind Map Planner, A4 size, 1 per student
  • Mind Map Template, A4 size, 1 per student
  • Mind Map Example, A4 size, 1 per student

Step 1: Mind Mapping

Begin by focusing on a topic that has been taught over the past few weeks or months. This technique can be especially helpful if you have been in remote learning situations. The use of a mind map can assist the most reluctant learner to share. It is a creative way to help students refocus, revisit and remember information. 

Provide each student with a copy of the Mind Map Guidelines, Mind Map Example & Mind Map Template sheets. Walk students through the Guidelines & Example sheets, focusing on how the sample topic ‘Energy’ is mapped out. This will give the students an idea of what mind maps look like. Then, talk about the different parts of the map: 

  • Line Count: The number of the lines joining each idea ‘bubble’ to the next. For each new fact or idea that branches out from a broader bubble, an additional line is added to the broader bubble’s line. 
  • Concept Grouping: The concepts are grouped out in their own area. Linkages can be made between ideas to show connection between ideas and concepts. 
  • Idea Growth: Little ideas grow from the larger ideas as the students work.
  • Creative Elements: Encourage students to add small illustrations to make the map fun and engaging.

Step 2: Concept Base

Clearly identify the topic, idea or concept that will become the focus of the students’ mind maps. For example, it could be a story book they are reading (recounting key events or characters) or a science concept (such as energy). Instruct each student to write the concept idea in the centre of the mind map.

Step 3: Big Brilliant Ideas

Invite each student to write down 4 keywords that they think of for the topic. Place these words in the larger bubbles on the Mind Map Template. These are the big ideas! Now encourage the students to start developing the ideas into smaller linking ideas until you have a page that is full of connected ideas. Mind maps can be decorated with smaller illustrations, groovy writing or bright colours to promote interest. Mind maps are a great way to show what you know.

Terrific Tip

You can use a mind map as a pre- or post- work piece, given to students at the start or the end of a unit of work as a creative thinking tool.