Seeing the big picture is important in learning. While we often focus on the details, if students don’t “see” the bigger picture, sometimes they have a hard time seeing how one concept relates to another.
One tool you can use on the computer to actually “draw” pictures like this is Inspiration. In fact, if you’re an elementary teacher, we’re hosting a course on Inspiration’s little brother, Kidspiration. This software is known for its library of graphics, and best yet, it’s already on student machines for students to build their own graphic organizers.
Another free tool available to teachers is Free Mind. FreeMind mimics its look after the original “mind map” concept. These maps are great to see your course of study in a giant chart, or to simply help you create images for instruction. Think – classifications, duties when students are working in a group, parts of speech, etc.