This is something we started doing last Spring with our Colonial America/Revolutionary War Unit. Mary is a Right-Brain Learner and I needed some way to present the BIG Picture of the unit in an understandable way. The traditional learner might use an outline, but the linear approach doesn't work around here. I'm not sure where I came upon this idea, but I am sure it is not original as I am not that good.
After testing it out this past spring I was impressed with how much Mary retained and her interest in adding to it as we studied. Something I don't get from her in relation to our timeline or notebook.
The other day I mentioned her sudden interest in Queen Elizabeth and how we were going to switch our history study for the time being. I pulled out the materials we already had here at the house. Let me just throw out another kudos for Learning Through History, as I had a copy of their magazine covering Tudor England. From there, we headed out for a morning visit to the library to pick up several more books covering Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Last night Mary and I read through several of the books and articles. Her questions lead me to decide that I needed to do a pre-unit 'Idea Web' for this unit as there is just so much going on. So, I fell asleep last night with images and plans for the 'web' forming in my mind. Yes, I am that much of a nerd.
I want to share with everyone what I put together this morning...
This is just the beginning. Each of the different color-coded ideas can be further broken down and each have their own webs. I know I am missing some information, but we will add those as we go. And, Mary can add ideas that strike her through our reading.
At this point I use the 'webs' to help reinforce topics we study and for Mary to SEE the connections. Further down the road as her writing ability develops a "thought/idea web" can be used like an outline to help her write papers.