Language Mind Maps: Brainstorming Vocabulary

Mind Mapping is an excellent way to brainstorm vocabulary in the language classroom. One thought leads to another, and soon there is a whole page of words to learn or revise!

In this mind map, I have started with the colour red. I thought of four things that are red and started adding words that I associate with these four things, fire, pepper, Coca Cola and Ferrari. Each of the words that are added to the mind map then generate their own ideas. From fire, I thought of wood, because it burns. I could then add, forest, wildfire, logs, lumberjack, Canada, etc. I can go in any direction that I want, there is no right or wrong way to make a mind map like this.

As a classroom or personal exercise, it could be good to choose a word, then set a time limit to write down as many associated words you can think of. Of course, you can only write down the words you know in the language you are learning. What if you think of something in your own language but don't how to say it in your target language? Write in down anyway (in pencil so you can erase it later), then go find a translation in a dictionary. Put the new word on your mind map.  Test yourself later by making a new mind map. Can you remember the new word? If not, go back to the internet and find some more examples of the word being used in articles and news reports.

Be sure to keep a book of mind maps that you can revise and add to regularly!

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