Sunday, 3 February 2008

Mind maps and graphic organizers

After browsing through the WWW in order to find clear definitions of 'mind map, 'cognitive map', 'graphic organizer'... it seems that there is not a unanimous use: while some people seem to consider these terms as synonyms, others tend to differentiate them.

Anyway, I'd say that the expression 'graphic organizer' acts as an 'umbrella term' for various forms of organizing information through charts and diagrams, whereas 'mind map' stands for a particular format of classifying data.

Some definitions:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making. map

A graphic organizer is a visual representation of information in an organized manner that is intended to enhance understanding (eg, Venn diagram, T-graph, word web, KWL chart)


Definition in Spanish (Wikipedia): Mapa conceptual

Enchantedlearning presents a set of choices for organizing and displaying information. Click here to see them.

These are just a few websites from the many that offer templates for different kinds of graphic organizers on the Internet:

- edHelper
- Freeology.
- Tools for Reading, Writing, & Thinking


  1. What a great post, you might also want to have a look at,
    they have a great list of resources for graphic organizers, as well as a ton of other information that I have found very helpful.

    My kids just love using the graphic organizers, and I have really seen a difference in their comprehension on particular subjects after using them, so thank you for sharing this post.

  2. Thank you for your contribution. I've just created a new list of links about this topic on the right column of the blog.