International Baccalaureate PYP: Respect – Prep Brainstorming & Mind Mapping: 5 & 6 Year Olds are Switched On!

Respect:  What is it? How do we show it? Why do we need it? When do we use it? We have been looking at our school attitudes. One of our attitudes is respect and today we started unpacking what it is and how we show respect in our actions. We’ve talked about respect many times and used the word many times but we haven’t focussed on it specifically. The children worked in small groups to converse, collaborate and record their collective thoughts. Large sheets and textas were provided for the children to record ideas. Large sheets allow young children to have room to stand and work together.

After the groups were given time to brainstorm and record, each group shared their ideas with the class. Ideas were then noted as a class mind map. This helps the children organise their thoughts so they can clearly see how their ideas connect to each other. We then matched our school values to each branch of the map. We’ve been unpacking  the IB values all year and I think their understanding is developing well.

Tomorrow, we will write a whole class essential agreement for respect as it is such an important attitude. I know it’s nearly the end of our school year in Australia but my Preps are  switched on at this time of the year. I wish we had a little more time…

I’ve included some photos of their brainstorming sheets and our class mind map. We are still adding to our mind map.

This is ‘risk taking’ writing. I wanted the children to feel they could write all ideas without fear of errors. This activity was about collaborating and recording collective thoughts. Our mind map is developing well and I love the fact that on the ‘why?’ branch we recorded ‘good Australian’. We’re still developing this branch of our map. Mind maps are excellent for young children because they are very visual. I really enjoy listening to the children discuss their ideas and they way they accept all other ideas.

Cheers Nina


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7 responses to “International Baccalaureate PYP: Respect – Prep Brainstorming & Mind Mapping: 5 & 6 Year Olds are Switched On!

  1. Hi Nina,

    I wish more people are in touch with their visual brain, like young children. Unfortunately the school systems (around the world) are making sure children learn to view the world with their left brain side.

    Have you tried to let the children make their own ‘mindmaps’? They don’t need to write all the words, just draw the images. Would be interesting to see what happens :).

    Best of luck finishing the mindmap!

    • averil2

      Hi Arjen,
      I have a previous post where I showed the children’s own mind maps. I agree with your comment about education. I’m into getting the children to really think and to record their thinking. Thinking about thinking. I particularly like mind maps because they are visual and organise the children’s thinking. They also show how ideas connect to each other. I have to learn a lot more to improve my understanding and construction. Thanks for the ideas.
      Cheers Nina

  2. Editor

    excellent post Nina, have you read any of Buzans books on how to Mind Map? Mind Mapping for Kids etc?
    May I suggest that you encourage your students further by a) applying one word per line, b) using images where appropriate, c) writing above the branch not below.
    Its great to see Mind Mapping being used with brain storming and not confused with it! Excellent! Tim

    • averil2

      Thanks for commenting. I have another post I wrote about the children doing their own mindmaps. I have done very little PD on mind mapping so I’m visiting blogs. However, I will find this book and read it. The children have responded really well to this thinking tool. Next year I intend to use them more often. It was such a powerful way to display their ideas. It took their brainstormed ideas to the next level. Really powerful stuff.
      Cheers Nina

  3. Excellent write up Nina, and a great example for those who want to introduce an element of mind mapping into schools.

    Good to see that the project involved the class as a whole.

    Has there been any other projects like this? Are you going to be covering another topic for the class to mind map?

    • averil2

      Hi Matthew,
      Thanks for commenting. I plan to use individual student mind maps as an assessment for our inquiry into ‘living and non living. I’ve found mind mapping with this age group fantastic because it’s very visual and connects their ideas. I’m at the learner stage as well, but that is changing. I’ll be doing a lot of reading over our holidays.
      Cheers Nina

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