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How to Mindmap People: Popplet Biographies

Whatever the subject there will always be that someone, who when we take a closer look at them, will deepen our knowledge. For example, think Eddison – think lightbulb, think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  – think equality and justice, think George Orwell – think Big Bother Is Watching You!

In fact for some learners, this all-important identification may be the only thing that piques their interest in a topic. Time and again teachers have seen yawns turn to eager excitement when the main character makes their entrance.

Creating a popplet about a person can be part of a bigger project or a project in its own right. Popplet allows you to add text, images, and video and lets you format and collaborate. There are also ways to add information, such as Popplet Comments and keep them hidden from the main Popplet Mind map. All in all, when it comes to mind mapping a part of or the whole of a person’s life, Popplet has everything you need at every part of the process.

Researching Biography Mind Maps

Popplet may be a mind mapping application but it is also an excellent note-taking tool. This comes in handy when students are investigating their subjects. How they go about their research depends on the age of the learners and just how controlled the activity is to be. For example, a list of targetted questions will go a long way in helping students become expert mind map creators but older students may be left to create their own questions. Of course, the questions asked depend on the learning objectives, but as empathy is our goal they should always include the standard stuff that’s often considered boring but really isn’t!:

  • Where was he born and when?
  • What did his parents do – was he rich or poor?
  • What events shaped his childhood?
  • Who were his significant others?
  • Identify the turning points that brought our subject to fame.

Another way to begin any project is with a good brainstorming session!

Brainstorming Mind Maps

Popplet becomes a brainstorming app in the flicker of an eye. It is thee classroom brainstorming app for many educators in the classroom as it allows students to create brainstorming maps in small groups if the class is working on different subjects or as a class. Depending on where you are in the process, you can use the questions above, or better still, elicit responses from the students themselves. The final brainstorming map can be shared with the whole group.

Creating the Biography Popplet: Presentation and Images

One of the great things about Popplet is that you can capture an idea and add it to your mind map immediately – there will always be time later to sort through what’s important. The biography Popplet can take many forms, but the most common is that of a timeline, a series of significant events. the final presentation is what best suits your needs as all that’s needed to maintain the chronology is dates.

Popplet’s powerful formatting suite can be used to keep things in line and colors can also be used to order information.

Another important part of any popplet are the images and videos that you use. Remember that active links can also be added.

A Word About Images

Quite often when it comes to classwork that requires images educators choose to select the images that their students can use, sharing with them rather than have them search the internet. This avoids any copyright problems and any issues with suitability. Every school has its own policy. We wrote an article which you may find useful. Wikipedia is a great source of age-appropriate, quality images and there are now a number of websites that can be used if you’re students are to choose their own images. There’s more information in the article.

As well as text, images, and URLs you can also add videos to the Biography Mind map.

Have you created any biographies using Popplet? If you have, share with us, the Popplet Community on Twitter, and on our Facebook page.

New to Popplet? Sign up for a free Popplet web account on the Popplet Homepage and get ten complimentary Popplet boards. Check out the Popplet Apps: Popplet Lite and the full version Popplet for iPad/iPhone/iTouch.