Teach visually with mindmaps

masculine singularTrying to straighten out all the little bits and pieces of grammar to do with gender in French can be frustrating, wearing and then unsuccessful for a while because there are so many things in French which need to agree with regard to gender. It is why it’s a good language for developing the hippocampus! What I decided to do with my year 9s, by way of an experiment, was use a visual approach to gathering some of this information into mindmaps or graphic organisers. So we did four: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, feminine plural. This came about because I was trying to teach them celui-ci and celui-là , its gender changes and then singular and plural. Plus we had to get our adjectives right. Now I would add il and elle and ils and elles but the masculine singular one was un, le, celui-là, celui-, heureux, intelligent, nouveau,mon, ton, son. When I did it I was drawing on the whiteboard with my texta and I had asked students to find something on their laptops they were comfortable with to make the shapes and lines. Some chose PowerPoint and some chose iMindmap. They really enjoyed doing this and it gave them a chance to link all the gender forms together in their heads since we couldn’t just churn these mindmaps out. It gave them cognitive absorption time! I tried out some practice sentences afterwards and was really pleased my little plan had worked. We had virtually no errors. I got them to give me feedback on Twiducate to see if they had seen value in learning their French this way:

This activity has helped me learn more about how to use Fem., masc. and plural while writing and talking in French. I also learnt how to use imind map again and I can look back at these when I need to. The activity was fun :)))

The mind map thing with the feminine and masculine helped me learn my French heaps because it gave me a clear difference between them. It also gave me something to go back to when I’m stuck. It was also funner then other ways of remembering it!¡!¡

This activity helped by…
Making learning fun in some ways and I will be looking over the them when I need them, and I think we should do this type of activity more often to improve our French.

These mind maps helped me learn my French because they expanded my French vocabulary with masculine and feminine words for the future. It was a good idea because it was fun and creative.


5 Responses

  1. Cathy, as a firm user of mindmaps I find this post quite right and relevant. I agree fully.


    • Now we have sorted out the problems with iMindMap and Mountain Lion on the Macs, we’ll be able to use them more , too. I really like them. Thank you for the comment.


  2. Cathy, it’s great to see how you are experimenting with mind maps in the classroom! If you have any iMindMaps that you’d like to share with the world, then please pop over and see us at Biggerplate.com where you can share with our community, and see how other teachers are using maps too!

    Keep up the great work and the excellent blog!

    Liam Hughes
    Founder: Biggerplate


    • I hadn’t actually forgotten Biggerplate but wwe had a bit of an implementation dip with iMindMap. It’s running really well now and I’ll be over to have a look. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for the encouragement.


  3. […] offers a free basic version of this software which is very easy to use and implement. I have found mind mapping software to be a very effective tool for teaching and students enjoy making their own mind maps. They […]


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