Pre-Writing with Mindmaps

Pre-Writing with Inspiration (and free alternatives)

Inspiration and FreeMind are concept-mapping tools that let students express their ideas in a visual, non-linear medium, which is often just what students need to generate ideas for writing assignments. Inspiration also allows you to convert your concept map into an outline.

Inspiration has numerous templates for different types of writing in the language arts and social studies, such as the “Comparative Analysis” and “Pro and Con” templates which prompt students to enter arguments on both sides of a debate.

FreeMind is a free, open-source mind-mapping tool. It has fewer features than Inspiration, but it also has much smaller files and you can put it on unlimited computers at no cost.

Gliffy and Bubble.us are “Web 2.0” tools that may lack some of Inspirations’s features, but offer the ability to collaborate on documents from anywhere!

Popplet is a free and easy-to-use web and iOS mind-mapping application allowing users to include links, drawings, images, and videos, share and collaborate with friends, and share a publication link. For more information on Popplet, visit our post on EdTechTeacher.

For more information about using graphic organizers and mindmaps, visit our Research & Writing section.