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Mind Mapping and Toondoo - Uses for Educators Across Content Areas

This week I’m going to peel apart a couple of the Web 2.0 elements that I used with my students in our literature circle assignment and feature ways that each tool could be integrated into ANY content area in the classroom. For orginal blog see:

Tool #1:

The first featured tool that I used is: Students used to create character maps reflecting specific characters that were in the novel that their literature groups were reading. This tool is VERY straightforward to use and allows the images to be embedded via html code or simply saved as a .jpg or .png file. Some of my students printed out their maps, but the majority embedded their image onto their wikispace for sharing and comments.

Student example:

Another way this tool could be used is to create semantic word maps. The students in my sixth grade classroom were given examples of semantic word maps and we’ve been working all year on how words are often derived from latin or greek roots. Given this information, students were challenged to take other content area words (science is GREAT for this!!) and come up with a semantic word map based on the derivation of the word.

In social studies or math, you can create concept maps. We began with an important vocabulary word and then brainstormed the words that are associated with that. For example: the word trade is an important term in sixth grade. You can brainstorm words or civilizations associated with trade and continue the discussion until you’ve created a word web that branches out in MANY different directions.

I’ve begun a Googledoc of other wordmapping ideas. Please contribute yours!!

Tool #2:

I particularly liked the toondoo tool because when I introduced it to the students, they ABSOLUTELY thought they were playing a game in the computer lab. Toondoo provides students with a cartoon panel and allows them to create a scene using established cartoon images that are built into the application. I had the students use toondoo to create a scene from their novel. It was amazing to see the effort that went into to selecting the background, items, character, etc. to accurately reflect a scene from their novel.

One specific component of toondoo (that a student showed ME!) was that you can create a traitr. I liked this feature for several reasons. First, we had done a great deal of discussion throughout the year on character traits and visualization. Not only did traitr utilize the term “trait”, but it allowed the students to build their own visualization of the character in the novel and then they could insert it into the toondoo that they had created.


To display the toondoo, students simply need to save the file as a .jpg and then embed it into their wikispace for display.

I can see toondoo being used in other content areas as an alternate form of assessment by allowing them to create scenes that reflect certain periods in history. Create a gallery of Toondoo examples created by students called “Moments of Discovery” For example: If you are studying earlier explorers or inventors, students will demonstrate their knowledge of the content as well as assimilate the information by creating a toondoo reflecting that “Moment of Discovery”. The Gallery could be a class booklet, wiki or blog that allows for students comments.


-See myscribd for literature circle job sheets:
-See my scribd for semantic word map sheet:
-Contribute ideas to googledocs: