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A Mindmap can be used to uncover a theme and to develop ideas and suggestions. The objective is to gather input and thoughts about a given topic and put these ideas on paper in such a way that relationships may be visualised.

The method is suitable for group or individual work. It may be applied throughout the process, but is very effective in the early stages of a creative process.


Creating patterns, as opposed to typical linear notes, enables new connections, structures and associations that are eassier to remember. In addition there might appear new insights or contradictions during the making of a mindmap.

  1. Start by writing the topic/central question in a circle in the middle of the paper.
  2. In relation to this central topic, the students draw and write input, symbols and key words, which are connected with lines to the topic in the circle. With the help of lines and other markings, new connections may emerge as the activity proceeds.
  3. Thereafter, general themes and ideas for solutions may be suggested.

Worth Considering

Mindmaps works quite well in combination with many different methods, for this you might consider e.g. to phrase How might we…? questions or try out Brainwalking.

Consider letting the students present their mindmaps in plenum.


Paper (A3 or larger), coloured markers. If desired, use a template.


Buzan, T. (1990). Use both sides of your brain. Plume Books.

De Bono, E. (1971). The use of lateral thinking. Jonathan Cape.

Osborn, A. F. (1953). Applied imagination.

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