We have been showing Clicker 7 to hundreds of our customers in the last few months, and one of the most exciting new features is the ability to create a mind map with a brand new kind of Clicker Set called Clicker Board. Mind mapping is well established as a powerful pre-writing activity, enabling students to organize their ideas. It can be done either collaboratively or individually.
Let’s imagine you wanted to get your students writing about their favorite kinds of food. You might decide to start with a class discussion, and gather everyone’s ideas in a Clicker Board.
First of all, create a Clicker Board with three pages (use the + symbol to add pages). Then, right-click on each page tab to rename as Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Next, we want to populate each page with a sentence starter and food items. There are two ways to add cells to the page:
- Click the new object cell in the left toolbar and drag your chosen cell type onto the board.
- Double-click anywhere on the board to create a default shaped cell.
With the first cell in place, write in your sentence starter, e.g. “For breakfast, I like to eat.”
Now add more cells around the sentence starter, and populate with the students’ ideas. With a more advanced group of writers, you could encourage the students to write into the cells themselves – notice that when you select a cell, you have the option of using both the onscreen keyboard and predictor if needed.
Now that we have our breakfast items in place, we might want to add pictures. To do this, double click on a cell and then click on the Browse Picture icon to search for pictures using the cell’s text – this is a massive time-saver.
If you need to resize any of the cells, click it, and then drag its square handles. To move a cell, just drag it.
Once you have all your breakfast items in place, you are ready to link them together - click on a cell, then drag one of its round handles towards another cell (in this case the sentence starter).
Repeat the process for your Lunch and Dinner pages.
If you want to print the pages of your board, click on the Print icon in the Clicker Set ribbon.
So now that the Clicker Board is complete, let’s look at how we can use our collaboratively created mind map to support individual writing and recording, by creating a Word Bank or a Picture Bank.
Right-click on the background of any page in your Clicker Board and choose ‘Create Word Bank’ or ‘Create Picture Bank’.
The resulting Clicker Set can then be given to students as an individual writing or recording support.
The example I have used here could be adapted to any curriculum focus that you like, and we are already publishing Clicker Board resources on LearningGrids for you to use. Remember that you can get to these free resources from within Clicker 7 – just click on the LearningGrids icon in Clicker Explorer.