eduSTAR software - Win > FreeMind resource

FreeMind, a free mind-mapping software.

 What can your students do with FreeMind?

  • Brainstorm
  • Create a mind map as an overview of a topic. ‘I learnt that…’
  • Structure a piece of writing or a script.
  • Develop character studies
  • Map a story
  • Create cause and effects charts
  • Keep a collection of small or middle-sized notes. Such a collection of notes is sometimes called knowledge base.

Planning your stories using FreeMind

Planning is the one of the most important parts of the writing process but often it is the most difficult. Invite the students to use FreeMind to map their ideas and let their creativity flow!

A good way to get started is to write the title of their story in the centre of the page, and then create three main branches off this central idea for the beginning, middle and the end of the story, using three different colours. Sub-branches will radiate off these main branches as more details are added to the plan. 

 FreeMind & Encarta Premium 

Choose a topic and allow 60 seconds for students to read about the topic, and then use FreeMind to create a Mind  Map, capturing and organising what they had learnt in five minutes,

Ask students to share their thoughts with the class by:         

  • Paraphrasing topics they have read
  • Summarising the main points.
Getting started
Further information about FreeMind can be found at the following link. http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Tutorial_effort
Stories from the classroom

When all students have access to a netbook, the possibilities are endless. 

Schools with a focus on utilising netbooks in their numeracy and literacy program report that they have used the netbooks in their literacy block to include:

  • creating multimedia  advertisements for persuasive  writing
  • planning writing tasks with online interactive tools
  • creating Mind Maps to demonstrate prior knowledge with FreeMind
  • creating online posters with Glogster http://edu.glogster.com
  • using Etherpad http://etherpad.com for collaborative writing, and
  • using Audacity to create audio reports to focus on speaking and listening.

The most recent focus has been Diigo. http://diigo.com/education. Diigo is a tool for social bookmarking and annotating websites. The teachers set up a private education group for the class in which they shared bookmarks, website annotations and discussions.  As part of the reading focus this term, the classes have used the ‘highlight’ and ‘sticky note’ features to develop skills in summarising and paraphrasing when working with their inquiry unit on Thailand.  Students were asked to summarise texts by highlighting key words and sentences, and add sticky notes to paraphrase the information.  In addition, students were encouraged to leave questions for their peers and highlight unknown words to investigate further.