Kick off the new school year with lessons from our Back to School 2021 collection to help students express themselves, build relationships, and stay organized.

3. Mind Mapping with Google Drawings

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In the previous video, you learned about three types of brainstorming methods and how to select the appropriate exercise for your group. One of the methods is Mind Mapping with Google Drawings. Mind Mapping uses diagrams to help you brainstorm and organize ideas visually. With a mind map, you can place big ideas into categories, branch off of those ideas, and quickly see how ideas are connected.

Think of a mind map like a tree. The large “branches” are bigger ideas, and the smaller “branches” build off of your original idea. These smaller branches might be slightly different variations of the idea, or suggestions to improve the idea.

In this video, you will: Create a Google Drawing, Add text boxes, Add lines, And change background and font colors.

Brainstorming is a time to generate as many ideas as possible without critique. To keep your ideas flowing quickly, you will only spend 15 minutes on this exercise. Some brainstorming may be longer or shorter, but 15 minutes is a great starting point.

To begin, sit near your group. You will work on the mind map on your own computers.

Then, select one person to open the Starter Project called Mind Mapping.

Make a copy and add it to your Drive.

Share the Google Drawing with everyone else, and give them editing access.

Title your drawing “Brainstorming” and the name of your scenario. Next, change the background color of your Drawing to white or a light color so the content in your mind map is easy to read.

Insert a text box in the center of your Google Drawing.

If your text box isn’t positioned where you’d like it, reposition it.

Then, type in your brainstorming scenario.

Change the background color of the text box and the color of your font. This helps the different sections of your mind map stand out.

Now that you’ve set up your Google Drawing, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas.

It's important that each group member has a chance to collaborate on your Mind Map.

Take turns changing the fill and font colors as you add ideas.

Each time someone thinks of a new idea, they can add it to the mind map by inserting a new color-coded text box.

Insert lines to connect your new ideas back to the brainstorming scenario.

Mind mapping works best when you start by thinking of big ideas first and then elaborate on those ideas later.

Once you’ve mapped your bigger ideas, work together to create new branches on the mind map.

Discuss as a group: What can we add to this idea? How could we make it slightly different?

What are some key details we could include? To document your additions in the mind map, insert a circle and type your idea inside.

Make sure the background color of the circle matches the color of the bigger idea so you clearly see they are related.

Then, draw a line to connect your new, detailed idea to the bigger idea it’s related to.

Move quickly, think creatively, and don’t stop to critique ideas. You will evaluate them later.

A brainstorming session is a time to generate as many ideas as possible. You may have 10 ideas or you may have 50! Everyone in your group should have an opportunity to contribute to the drawing.

If you get stuck or need more inspiration, conduct a quick Google search to find out what others have tried for similar scenarios.

If you run out of room for new ideas, resize your Google Drawings template so you have more space.

Now, it’s your turn: Open the Starter Project, make a copy, and share it with your group Rename your drawing Change the background color, Insert text boxes for each new idea And color code and connect related ideas.


  1. Open the starter project, make a copy, and share it with your group.
  2. Rename your drawing.
  3. Change the background color.
  4. Insert text boxes for each new idea.
  5. Color code and connect related ideas.