This week I learned about concept mapping - something I have known about for years but never really grasped. As a young student I recall being forced to concept map before I wrote stories or essays; I never particularly enjoyed this step. My maps somehow always turned into a page of doodles  and a mess of words. My struggles with concept mapping seem bizarre to me now because now I map out everything from ideas for an essay, to do lists, and plans for my free time.  However, for students like myself back in the day that could never manage to grasp the idea of a concept map the program Inspiration is a great tool. It allows students to do all their mapping on the computer in a clear, concise, and most importantly organized manner.
Another direct use of Inspiration for teachers would be to use it for unit planning.  In the very center of the map would be our main overlaying unit, for example, grade 2 science - small crawling and flying animals. Branching out from this would be individual lessons which meet the specific learning outcomes for that theme, such as, predators - what are they, who are they, what do they do. Lastly, you could branch out from this by including the form of assessment you intend to use for that particular lesson. By using Inspiration for unit planning we are provided with the ability to see a whole unit on one organized page. Imagine! 

Below is a simple example of what a unit plan may look like.



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