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Resource of the Month – November 2017


Psychology author, education consultant, and English media personality Tony Buzan first developed the concept of a mind map in the 1960s. While the technique of using a visual ‘map’ to depict information dates back centuries to great thinkers such as Aristotle, the specific technique of mind mapping was popularised by Buzan in the 1960s and 1970s.

What is a mind map?

According to Buzan, a mind map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain, harnessing the full range of cortical skills in a singular manner, including the use of word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour, and spatial awareness. The resulting map is one that is like a radial tree, diagramming key words in a colourful and radiant structure.

Why are they so useful?

Buzan argues that the increased effectiveness of mind maps over other forms of note taking and learning is a result of the integration of cerebral hemisphere function. To add, traditional approaches tend to be linear, forcing the reader or learner to scan from left to right, moving from top to bottom, whereas people tend to scan an entire page in a non-linear fashion. 

Mind maps and kids

Not only do mind maps increase learning outcomes, memory and concentration, but they are a fun and engaging way for children to approach schoolwork, homework, problem solving, and more. Included in ‘Mind Maps for Kids’ are step-by-step examples of how to start and develop mind maps across a variety of school curriculum subjects, as well as projects outside the classroom, for example planning a party or special project.

Mind mapping can be used for kids to:

  • Remember things
  • Make clearer and better notes
  • Revise
  • Come up with ideas
  • Unlock the imagination
  • Save time
  • Concentrate
  • Study for exams

An example of a mind map

Image source:


7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

(Source: )

1 – Start in the CENTRE of a blank page turned sideways.

Why? Because starting in the centre gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.

2 – Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea.

Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focused, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!

3 – Use COLOURS throughout.

Why? Because colours are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Colour adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!

4 – CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc.

Why? Because your Brain works by It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.

5 – Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined.

Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.


Why? Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.

7 – Use IMAGES throughout.

Why? Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!


Please note: Melbourne Child Development does not receive any commercial benefits from the recommendation of this resource.