Mind maps (or similar concepts) have been used for centuries, for learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists and people in general.


Mind mapping is a visual form of note taking that offers an overview of a topic and its complex information, allowing students to comprehend, create new ideas and build connections. Through the use of colors, images and words, mind mapping encourages students to begin with a central idea and expand outward to more in-depth sub-topics.

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.


A mind map is a visual representation of hierarchical information that includes a central idea surrounded by connected branches of associated topics.

For any of the following you can make a mind map:

  1. From a lesson in the text book • About a situation observed Eg- an accident • As a summary of a conversation
  2. As an exploration of feelings
  3. Recording a lecture… For learning to make a mind map begin by choosing a passage from a text.

A mind map is like a web, tree. There is a central trunk and many main branches and sub branches.


  1. Find the topic heading / central idea (you may choose an idea different from another) Put it in the centre Use a particular colour and or letter size for the central heading.
  2. Next organize the information into sub- headings –Draw arrows or lines to connect the central theme to these Sub-headings and make a branching pattern from the centre. You may use a different letter size and or colour for these sub-headings.
  3. You are now going to draw the smaller branches of the tree. Using lines or arrows to connect these sub-headings to the facts that belong to it.

You may use a different letter size and/or colour for these subheadings. The connecting arrows could also be of a different thickness.

So now you have a beautiful, colourful mind map. The mind map of a student tells one what the student has grasped and the picture the student has made of the topic.

It is neither right nor wrong. It must be remembered at all times that there is NO ONE CORRECT MIND MAP.

Such an approach will dampen the explorations of students and choke their creativity. The mind map be a good tool for grasping a lesson and remembering the lesson.

The effort of making a mind map is valuable, even if one does not see evidence of recall from the student. It serves as a tool for ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT and the effort to ORGANIZE INFORMATION by itself is most valuable.


  1. Help students brainstorm and explore any idea, concept, or problem
  2. Facilitate better understanding of relationships and connections between ideas and concepts
  3. Make it easy to communicate new ideas and thought processes
  4. Allow students to easily recall information
  5. Help students take notes and plan tasks
  6. Make it easy to organize ideas and concepts


Activity-based learning or ABL describes a range of pedagogical approaches to teaching. Its core premises include the requirement that learning should be based on doing some hands-on experiments and activities.

The idea of activity-based learning is rooted in the common notion that children are active learners rather than passive recipients of information. If child is provided the opportunity to explore by their own and provided an optimum learning environment then the learning becomes joyful and long-lasting.

This format contains all the elements considered essential for the students learning. It is a simple format to use.

It focuses on the student reading, drawing mind maps summarizing and discussing. It is useful where reading material is simple. Elements of the Format Formations Timing

  1. Introducing Large Group 10 Minutes
  2. Reading Individual 30 Minutes
  3. Mind Map Individual
  4. Summary Individual Discussion of mind map
  5. and summary Small group 20 Minutes
  6. Consolidation and reinforcement
  7. Large group 30 minutes
  8. Assessment Individual/small group/large group
  9. Remedial Large group Writing Individual

Home work Some elaboration on each of the elements of the format are given in the table below: Elements of the format Some Possibilities to consider Introduction Evocation to kindle interest – story, anecdote Students sharing questions that they may have on the topic Linking to prior knowledge Showing an experiment Using Charts, Pictures Showing an experiment Setting/evolving guiding question for reading Sharing of what the students is expected to know at the end of the chapter Connect to the Overall Lesson Mind map Reading Underline Key words Identify words whose meaning is not known Clarify meaning using dictionary/ask peer/ask teacher Teacher can make a list of new words with meanings if a dictionary is not available Mind map Draw mind map and share individual maps in the small group 85 Summary Summarise individually and share in the small group Consolidation and Reinforcement Presentation of a few mind maps done by students Students and teacher evolve a common mind map and summary Going over key words Observation/identification off specimens/diagrams Demonstration off small experiments Exploring applications of learning Assessment Quiz Match the following Fill in the blanks Short answers Draw a diagram Lable a diagram Tabulate etc Based on’ What the students is expected to know” at the end of the unit Student Self Assessment/peer assessment Remedial Going over the incorrectly Writing Writing Exercises off Various kinds Lesson Plan in Lesson Plan format will contain:

  1. Nature of Information
  2. Unit – content – time chart
  3. Content list
  4. Skills addressed
  5. Introduction including guiding questions for reading.
  6. Reading.
  7. Mind Map of the unit
  8. Summary of the unit
  9. Small group discussion
  10. 1Consolidation and Reinforcement.
  11. Presentation Evolving a common mind map and summary along with the teacher. Teacher summary. Activity (if any) Any other. (if any)
  12. Assessment based on “What the student is expected to know”.
  13. Remedial.

Activity Based Learning (ABL)

Activity – Based Learning (ABL) Modules (Joyful Learning)

The ABL approach is unique and effective to attract out-of -school children to schools/AIE centres. The teachers who are involved in implementing this method have developed activities for each learning unit which facilitated readiness for learning, instruction, reinforcement and evaluation. ABL has transformed the classrooms into hubs of activities and meaningful learning. 

ABL – An innovative approach

The ABL concept has been taken from the Rishi Valley practices.  This has been introduced in the Corporation Schools of Chennai with slight modifications.  Seeing the success of the scheme this has been introduced in the Panchayat Union Schools.

Initially, a core team was asked to investigate the current practices of classroom process and find out the reasons for the low achievement of children. As the team members had rich exposure in the field of primary education they had strong faith on children, parents, teachers and the government that they would not be responsible for low achievement of children. Then, after close study in some of the schools in the corporation area, the team identified the following as the malady of conventional process.

  1.   Teacher dominates the classroom always.
  2.   Rare use of teaching learning materials.
  3.        Most of the time the lecture method was followed.
  4.        Importance was given to rote learning.
  5.    Teachers are under the assumption that they know everything and children do not know anything.
  6.       Teacher assumes uniform learning pace and uniform level of achievement among children.
  7.       The gap between teacher and children are more.
  8.        Focus is given on teaching rather than learning.
  9.        No scope to cover the loss of learning during the period of absence of children.
  10.        Multigrade and multi level is not addressed.
  11.        Traditional way of evaluation.
  12.        Absence of joyous based extra activities.
  13.        Absence of play way and learning by doing activities.
  14.        Less chance for mutual and self learning.
  15.       Coverage of syllabus by the teacher and not by the children.
  16.        Classroom with less facilities for learning activities.
  17.        Instructional materials neither intensive nor attractive.
  18.        Lack of learning freedom – more of time restricted environment.

To overcome the above malady in teaching learning process a suitable strategy called Activity Based Learning (ABL) was evolved to be implemented in the Chennai Corporation Schools.

Implementation of ABL approach

Implementation of this approach was divided into four phases viz. I) Preparation Capacity Building Phase II) Experimental Phase III) Extension Phase and IV) Evaluation Phase.

  1. During capacity building phase a core team consisting 4 programme coordinators and selected 26 practicing teachers were trained by Rishi Valley Project people three (or) four times repeatedly during 2003 and 2004. The four co-ordinators with I to V and experience in the background along with the teachers developed the module.
  2. The ABL approach was experimented for one year in selected 13 schools in 10  zones during (2003) the experimental phase.
  3. Since printed cards were not available at that time photocopies of the same were used in the classrooms.
  4. During this stage, only classes I & II were integrated. The ultimate idea is to integrate upto class IV.
  5. As the results were encouraging, this approach was extended to all 264 schools in Chennai Corporation during 2004.
  6. During this phase, learning cards for classes I & II (4 subjects) and teachers manual were prepared, printed and distributed.
  7. In the year 2005, class III was integrated with class I & II.
  8. Workbooks for classes I & II for four subjects were prepared, printed and distributed during 2004-2005.

Training of classroom teachers and other Staff

  1. Experimental school teachers handling class I & II were trained initially and recurrently with reasonable time in ABL methodology during 2003 and 2004 under capacity building phase.
  2. Appraisal and review meetings were conducted periodically for smooth conduct of the programme.
  3. To enhance resource support a team of 100 members ten in each zone / block were trained sufficiently in the ABL methodology (Teacher instruction) who in turn trained all the classroom teachers handling classes I to III and other teachers also who are handling IV to VIII.
  4. For effective monitoring and supervising of the ABL, all BRTEs, HM’s, DEOs, CEOs and ADPCs, Supervisors, AEEOs were trained by core team members in various cycles during 2004-2005.
  5. Teachers and Headmasters are also trained and oriented by visiting model schools and other schools of appreciable performance and interaction with successful teachers.
  6. Apart from these, teachers were provided on the spot support by expert team periodically and regularly.
  7. A resource centre was functioning to offer all time support to teachers at Corporation Middle School, Ranganathan Street, Nungambakkam.

The Process of ABL approach

  1. Competencies are split into different parts/units and converted into different activities.
  2. Each part/unit is called a milestone.
  3.    In each subject, the relevant milestones are clustered and linked as chain and this chain of milestones is called LADDER.
  4. Each milestone has different steps of learning process and each step of learning process is represented by logo.
  5. Milestones are arranged in a logical sequence from simple to complex and also activities in each milestone.
  6. To enable the children to organize in groups group cards are used.
  7. Evaluation is inbuilt in the system. Separate cards / activities are used for this purpose.
  8. Each child is provided with workbook/worksheet for further reinforcement activities.
  9.   Children’s progress are recorded through annual assessment chart.
  10. Each milestone has different type of activities such as introduction, reinforcement, practice, evaluation, remedial and enrichment activites represented by different logos.
  11. Children learn on their our pace.
  12.   Provision of more time for self-directed learning and teacher directed learning is reduced considerably.
  13. Group learning, mutual learning and self learning are promoted.
  14. Teachers teaching time is judiciously distributed among children. Only needy children are addressed by teachers.
  15. Children’s participation in every step is ensured in the process of learning.
  16. Evaluation is inbuilt in the system it is done without the child knowing it.
  17. Rote learning is discouraged and almost no scope for rote learning.
  18. Periodical absence of child from school is properly addressed.
  19. Classroom transaction is based on child’s needs and interests.
  20. Freedom to child in learning as he chooses his activity.
  21. Multigrade and multilevel in learning is effectively addressed.
  22. No child can move to the next higher step of learning unless attains the previous one.
  23. Sense of achievement boosts child’s confidence and morale.
  24. Attractive cards and activity create interest among children.
  25. Scope for child’s development in creative and communicative skills.
  26. Children will have a feel of security as they sit in rounds in the groups.
  27. Children are allowed to move in the classroom as they choose their activity.
  28. Moreover the distance between the teacher and the child is largely reduced and the teacher acts as a facilitator rather than teacher.

      The ABL concept is used in selected regular schools in the State apart from 6,000 AIE centres. The ABL cards which can match the pace of learning have been placed permanently in Block Resource Centres. This ground–breaking approach have been tried out experimentally in a few schools (10 schools per block). After field-testing of the ABL modules and Self Learning Material kits are to be used in other schools. The Directorate of Teacher Education, Research and Training and Directorate of Elementary Education have been involved in implementing this programme including imparting training for the same.  Yet another silent revolution in Innovative Education.

I Hear; I forget,

I see; I remember,

I do; I understand.


Active learning methodology is also a form of activity based learning. It makes all learners to participate in learning. In this method the students involve in reading, writing, speaking, drawing, sharing, expressing the skills and questioning individually and in groups. Active learning involves students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing.

According to Bonwell and Eison students must do more than just listen. They must read, write, discuss and solve problems. They must engage in higher-order thinking tasks. The tasks are analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Students like strategies promoting active learning than traditional lecture method. In active learning, the students are doing something including discovering, processing and applying information.

Many teaching strategies can be employed to actively engage students in the learning process. The activities in ALM improve skills in critical thinking, increase motivation and retention and interpersonal skills. Active learning involves students directly and actively in the learning process. Instead of simply receiving information verbally and visually, the students are receiving and participating and doing. Active learning methodologies require that the student must find opportunities to meaningfully talk, listen, write and read.


  1. Students are involved in learning.                                                                                        
  2. More emphasis on developing students’ skills
  3. Students are involved in higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis & Evaluation)
  4. They are engaged in reading, discussing and writing activities.
  5. Active learning shifts the focus from the teacher to the student.
  6. Active learning derives from two basic assumptions:
  7.  that learning is by nature an active endeavour and
  8.  that different people learn in different ways.


Lesson Plan Model

Topic  :

Standard  :

Nature of the Topic  :

Time          :  90 minutes

Subject      Unit           :   II sec ‘C’

Technique :   Chalk & Talk.

  1. Introduction      :
  2. Understanding  :
  3. Mind mapping   :
  4. Summarising     :
  5. Discussion         :
  6. Writing Activity   :
  7. Revision            :
  8. Evaluation          :


Extensive reading or reading for fluency involves reading of longer texts for pleasure. It is not meant for minute details. It is a fluency activity. The students can read on their own. This is called Rapid reading or Independent silent reading. The specific objectives of extensive reading are:

  1. To understand the meaning as quickly as possible.
  2. To increase passive vocabulary.
  3. To develop taste for reading.
  4. To develop the habit of reading for pleasure.
  5. To concentrate upon subject matter.

The term extensive reading means to read silently and quickly. It helps to read without the help of the teacher. It trains the reader to understand the subject matter as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It plays a vital role in the learning of second/foreign language. The students are made to read as much as possible. They are given choice and freedom to select the books of their choice. Reading has its own reward. There are no follow up activities. The reading texts are within the linguistic competence of the reader. Students are permitted to read at their own pace. They choose when to read or where to read. This creates interest among the learners. So they learn to read faster without any disturbance.

Steps involved in Extensive reading

I.) Introduction:

1. The teacher gives main hints of the passage,

2. He explains the difficult portions,

3. He deals with difficult areas of a language,

II.) Silent Reading:

The students should read silently and quickly.

III.) Question:

The teacher asks questions to test the students understanding.

In extensive reading, the readers must read silently and understand the matter. This would create interest among the readers. The students may not be interested in reading text books. Interesting magazines, newspaper, etc., may be recommended.

Advantages :

  1. It helps in assimilation of ideas.
  2. The class room is busy and active.
  3. It increases vocabulary.
  4. It prepares students for library reading.
  5. Helps for individual method of study and self-education.
  6. In extensive reading, a child practices what he has learnt.


  1. Introduction

       A teacher has to face several type of problems in his presentation and achieving the learner objectives. Therefore it is essential for a teacher to solve those problems scientifically. The appropriate teaching strategies may not be useful in classroom teaching until and unless these problems are solved. The classroom problems can be solved by employing the action research device. It is a method for solving the problems of teaching objectively and systematically. This is useful for improving and modifying the teaching process.

  • Meaning of Action Research

            Action research is a method for improving and modifying the working system of a classroom in school. The teachers and principal are able to study their problems of teaching scientifically. It is a problem –oriented method. The action research project does not contribute in the fund of knowledge but it improves and modifies the current practices. Hence it is necessary to understand the concept of `research` to have correct idea of the term `Action Research`. It functions as supporting device of teaching.

  • Characteristics of Action Research
  • It is a process for studying practical problems of education.
  • It is a scientific procedure for finding out a practical solution of current problems
  • The practitioner can only study his problems.
  • The focus is to improve and modify the current practices.
  • The individual and group problem are studied by action research.
  • It does not contribute in the fund of knowledge or discipline.
  • It is a personal research for the excellence in the job.
  • Objectives of action research:

     The action research projects are conducted for achieving the following objectives:

  1. To improve the working conditions of school plant.
  2. To develop the scientific attitude of teachers
  3. To develop the attitude of looking the problems scientifically.
  4. To develop the democratic attitude among students and teachers for understanding and solving their problems.
  5.  To bring excellence among school workers.
  6.  To develop the ability and understanding among administrators to improve and modify the school condition and make conductive for learning.
  • Scope of Action Research:

   The action research project may be designed in the following areas of education:

  1. In improving and modifying the classroom teaching, strategies, tractics and teaching aids.
  2. In developing interest, attitudes and values of the students toward their studies.
  3. In dealing with classroom problems and school problems relating to discipline and code of conduct.
  4. In assigning the home work so that students should take interest in completing it.
  5. In improving the spelling errors and wrong appropriation in language learning.
  6.  In dealing with the problem of poor attendance in class as well as in school and coming late in school.
  7. In developing the habit of  completing class notes and active participation.
  8. In removing the  practice of copying in the examination.
  9. In solving the personal problem of students relating to school situation or poor adjustment.
  10. In dealing with the problem of school administration and organization.
  • Steps of Action Research:

    In designing and conducting action research project the following steps are used:

  1. Identification of problem:

A teacher should be sensitive towards teaching activities. The problem is isolated from the broad fields. An investigator must realize the seriousness of the problem

  • Definition and delimitation the problem:

After identifying the problem, it should be defined so that action and goal may be specified. The delimitation means to localize the problem in term of class, subject, group and period in which a teacher perceives the problem.

  • Analysis the causes of the problem:

The causes of the problems are analysed with the help of some relevance. The nature of the causes is also analysed whether it is under the control or beyond the control of investigator. This helps in formulating the action hypotheses.

  • Formulating the action hypotheses:

The basis for the formulation of action hypotheses are the causes of the problem which are under the approach of an investigator. The statement of action hypotheses consists of the two aspects: action and goal. It indicates that the action should be taken for achieving the goal.

  • Design for testing the action hypotheses:

The design is developed for testing the most important action hypotheses. If the hypotheses is not accepted second design is developed for testing another hypotheses. In action research on hypotheses is tested at a time. The design of action research is flexible and can be designed at any time according to the convenience of the researcher.

  • Conclusion of action research project:

The accepting or rejecting action hypotheses leads to draw some conclusion. The statement conclusion indicate some prescription for the practical problem of school or classroom. The conclusion are useful in modifying and improving the current practices of school and classroom teaching.

  • Experimental Project of Action Research:
  • Topic of the project:

The geography students are not using maps and atlas in the classroom.

  • The Investigator:

The prospective Social Science teacher.

  • The Background for the Project Work:

During the first month of the Intensive Teaching Practice it has been observed that the students are not using maps and atlas in their Social Science classes. The concepts on geography are not clear to the students.

  • Objectives of Project work:

This project is taken for achieving the following objectives:

  1. To develop the interest in using the maps and atlas in geography class.
  2. To develop understanding about the use of maps and atlas in geography-study.
  3. To develop the feeling among the students that geography content can be best understood by the use of maps and atlas in the class.
  4. To raise the level of performance.
  5. Importance of the project for the school;

The study of geography is very essential and useful for the students. It provides the general knowledge about the human phenomenon. The standard of geography may be raised and it may attract students for admission. The result of geography examination may be upgraded.

  • Area of the problem;

The problem concerns with the classroom teaching. It will promote leading aspect of management teaching learning. The field of problem is the proper use of teaching aids in geography.

  • The specification of the problem:

The problem is located in St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary School, Palayamkottai class IX Subject Social Science – Geography. The students of the class are not using maps and atlas in geography subject.

  • Analysis of the problem:

The causes of the problem are analysed with the help of the following table:

The teacher do not stress on the use map and atlasTeacher experience and observation    Fact  Under control of the teacher  
The geography maps are not available in the entriesNo Social Science room and stock book entries    Fact  Beyond the control of teacher. He can request the Head Master for purchasing the maps
Most of the students do not have the atlasEnquiring from the students    FactMay be or may not be under the control of teacher  
The teachers are not using maps their teachingStudents opinion and teacher observation and experience.  FactUnder the approach of teacher
  1. Formulation of Action Hypotheses:

The action hypotheses are formulated for the problem. Generally the causes which are under the approach of the teacher are considered for this purpose. The following two important action hypotheses are formulated.

  • First Action Hypotheses:

The tendency of using maps and atlas is promoted by giving the adequate stress on the use of maps and atlas in geography teaching.

The first part is the and the later part is action to be taken for promoting interest in using maps and atlas.

  • Second Action Hypotheses:

Using maps and atlas may be developed by using the proper teaching aids in teaching geography in the classroom.

  • Design for Testing Action Hypotheses:

The action hypothesis is tested separatly by employing different designs. A design has been given for testing the first action hypothesis.

                   The design for First Action Hypothesis

A list is prepared of students who have the atlas.Enquiring from the studentsDuring geography teaching period, teacher will enquire from studentsOne day
The students who do not have the atlas will be asked to purchase it.Teacher will  provide a list of atlas nameHe will send this information to parents also.Two days
The atlas may be given to poor students from the book bankTeacher will locate the poor studentsHe will request to principal for purchasing more copies of atlas for book bankThree days
During geography class teacher will regularly ask the students to bring and use atlas.The teacher will supervise the use of atlas by students.He will note the two names of these students who do not purchase atlas. Not the atlasTwo weeks

       The data collected by observation and maintaining record of students who have used the atlas. An achievement test was administered to measure their level of performance. The result shows the improvement in the use of Atlas and Maps.  The first hypothesis is accepted and the second hypotheses will be tested.

                                   THE DESIGN FOR SECOND HYPOTHESES

The teacher will provide the awareness about the available atlas in the school.From the record and availability of atlases in geography room.  Teacher will contact to the inchange the geography room.Two days    
The teacher will arrange the required atlas in teaching geography.The teacher will review course and content prescribed for class IX in Social Science subject.The teacher will request the Head Master and contact nearby extension service centres.Two days    
He will select related atlas for the content of geography.The teacher will consider and the content of his lesson.He can barrow from geography room incharge.One week  
He will use proper maps, charts and models in his teaching.The lesson will be developed with the help of teaching aids.The teacher will arrange himself for maps and atlases.Two week
He ask the student to enter the required place after his presentationTeacher will show these places on map and will supervise the students map work.The students are asked to bring required maps in geography period.Three week

In implementing the design the data is gathered by observation, students reactions and achievement test of geography was administered. The decision may be taken regarding the action hypotheses.

  • Evaluation :

The criterion of evaluating the action research project is the workability of the action hypotheses. The data collected by using observation technique, and scores on achievement test was analysed by calculating percentage and other appropriate statistical techniques. Some conclusions may be drawn on the basis of statistical analysis.

The class average mark in the Map test is six out of ten.  Most of the students fall under this category.

  • Comments of the investigator:

The investigator draws some conclusion about the workability of an action hypotheses. This may provide some basis for suggesting prescription or remedy for solving the problem. The use of maps and atlas is very essential for teacher as well as students to understand the concepts of geography.

  • Conclusion:

The concept of Action Research is very old.  But the teachers can make an attempt to study their problems scientifically through action research and make decisions to bring excellence in their teaching performance.  It is economical from time, energy and money point of view.  So all the teachers who perceive problems in their class rooms can make an attempt of Action Research.