How to use Mind Maps to understand and remember what you read


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Hi. James from engVid.

You notice?

I was reading.

It's not a special skill.

Most of us learn it, but the problem is when you go to another language it's difficult

sometimes to understand what's on the paper and be able to use that.

So today's lesson is about mind maps.

Mind maps?


Wait a second, mind maps and reading.

I did a general lesson earlier on.

Somewhere in the link you can look down and you can find it, go back, you can watch it.

But in that lesson I didn't give any specific examples on mind maps.

I'm doing this particular lesson to address that.

So, if you're here going: "Yeah, I want to learn about mind maps and reading", this is

your lesson.

Hold on two seconds.

We're going to discuss what the benefits are, what the benefits of reading are, then I'm

going to give you a very detailed mind map explaining what parts you should do for what,

and that'll help you with reading.

Are you ready?

Let's go to the board.

All right, E, what's up?

"It's all Greek to me."

Omega, it's not the best symbol, you probably can't see it, but Greek.

In English we say when something's Greek to me, it means we don't understand it.

A lot of times you'll get a big contract when, you know, you have your cellphone and there's

a bill and it's: "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah",

and you're like: "I don't understand it. It's all Greek."

I know you understand all of the words, it's just they're put together in such a way it's

difficult, and that doesn't matter if you're reading your own language or another language.

But there are a lot of benefits when you're learning another language that reading gives you.

And a lot of people want to talk and listen, but reading has some power.

And let's address that now.


So mind maps are reading comprehension.

Don't worry if you haven't seen the mind map, it's coming up in a second or two.

But the first thing I want to talk to you about is reading helps you understand the

way that the language is put together.

Most of you will come and...

You come to engVid to learn vocabulary and grammar, but that doesn't help you with syntax,

that doesn't help you with putting the words together in a logical way.

Reading does that because...

Well, let's face facts, when you're reading someone is actually speaking to you but they're

not in front of you.

So the problem is if they're not very clear and they don't use the language well, you

won't really understand them.


So reading teaches you how to...

The language is put together, where the verbs go, and when's a better place to use the verb

or a noun, and how you can show expressions. Okay?

Reading also teaches you how to speak by showing you the way that the language is used by the

native speakers.

Huh? Well, if it's a fiction book they actually say:

"-'Johnny, are you coming?'

-'Yes.' Dah, dah, dah, dah",

and they show you how we use the language.

So not only do you understand how to put the language together by looking at it and going:

"Ah, comma here, period here", but then they say:

"Hey, this is how we speak."

So if you follow this you can actually use that kind of method or sys-...

Not system.

You can follow those words and actually speak like we do.

All right?

Number three, vocabulary.

I talked about it up here.

Reading introduces vocabulary in a natural way.

Have you ever had a teacher or read a book where they have 20 words and they say:

"These are your 20 words"?

And when you look back, you're like:

"Why did they teach me these 20 and not these 20,

and why this word and not that word?"

Well, when they're reading they're saying: "Here's words", and you can see the vocabulary,

you can look at the picture that it's in-and that's a key that I'm going to say picture;

I'll come back to that-and you can see: "Ah, that's how it fits, and now I have an understanding

of the word not just by dictionary definition, but how people actually use it in real life

in that language."


So at the end of it I say: Reading is good for you, like an orange.

You know, you have orange juice?


It's good for you. Right?

But there is a key that you have to remember, and that is: Reading is difficult if you don't

know 80% of the vocabulary, and this is where the mind map comes in.

If you don't know 80% of the vocabulary you won't understand most of what is on the paper.

But the funny thing is if you see a picture, even if you don't know all the words, you

can understand how that picture goes together.


We're going to use mind maps to create a picture for you to look at and understand, and then

take some of the vocabulary that you may not know and give you a really clear understanding.

Ready for your next adventure?

Let's turn to the next chapter.


Okay, so I promised a mind map for reading, and voila.

But before I get there, I want to just go over a couple of things. Okay?

Why do we have...?

There are three reasons for the mind map.

I discussed what reading was about.

But I discussed reading, but I didn't talk about the mind map and how they actually go

together, and I'm going to fix that right now.

We want to use the mind map to do these three things to make reading much easier.

Do you remember I said if you don't understand at least 80%, so it's only 20% you don't understand,

reading something will be impossible?

These are the three reasons we want to go to mind maps to make that 20% just disappear

and work for us.

First, a mind map forces you...

Okay, so they break down...

They force you to break down information into smaller parts that are easier to understand.

Here's my fist, I'm going to eat it.


You see, I can't.

But if I do this, we make it smaller, it's easier to eat.


When you have a page of information and 20% you don't understand, you just go:

"I don't understand."

But when you break it into parts you can go:

"Hey, I know this word, and this word works with that", it's easier for you to digest or to take in.

Number two, once you're finished the mind map all of the information can be seen quickly

at a glance.

A glance is a quick look.

When you...

No, that's not a glance.

This is.


That means a quick look.

I want to be able to look at a piece of paper and get the picture right away.

And if you think about it, when you look at a picture, you don't look corner, corner,

corner, corner, corner.

You look, you see the picture, you understand it.

That's what a mind map does for you.

And finally, the third thing is there are lots of pictures.

You're going to notice lots of silly pictures.

Well, it makes it easier to remember.

Because let's face it, if you read something and you don't remember it, you never read it.

So I'm going to say that again to make sure you understand.


If you read something and you don't remember what you read, you never read it.

With a mind map, because you get these little pictures, you can put a picture in your head


It's easy to recall or bring back that information and remember it.

So the three advantages are we can break it into pieces we understand.


When we need the information-[snaps]-it's quick.

I don't need to go page, page.

I can look and go: "Got it."

And number three, I don't even have to look.

I can just remember.

Nice. Right? All right.

So let's take a look at a very general mind map.

What do I mean by general?

This mind map is to give you an idea, sort of like a base.

From here you can modify this type of mind map to use it for any other reading.

So if you're a business guy or you're a history person, you're like: "This doesn't help me",

wait, I'll show you how it can help you.

But for now let's go through the basic things you can do to make it easier.

So you've read your book. Okay?

You're reading through the pages.

While you're reading it, some of the things you can do is right off the bat you can have

a little mind map-where are we?-vocabulary, a little arm here that goes into voca-...

New vocabulary.

With the new vocabulary, you can write the word out, go to your dictionary, find a synonym.

The dictionary usually has antonyms and synonym.

Synonym means a word that seems the same or is similar to this word,

and the antonym is the opposite.

Okay? So we can look for synonyms which may help us.

So you might know the word "dog", but you don't know the word "mutt".

A mutt is a type of dog that's mixed.

So that's a synonym for "dog".

So you can use that by using your dictionary, and this will help you remember that word,

and plus make your vocabulary wider.

Cool. Right?

And next thing is almost every book you read, especially if it's for school-and a lot of

you I know want to go to school or you're reading books-you need general information.

So in this kind we can put down the type of book.

Is it science?

Is it business?

Is it fiction?

Who is the author?

The Donald Trump haircut.


It's blowing away.

Who's the author?

Put the author's name.

And then when was it published?

Published means: When did you make this...?

Or, sorry.

When did they make the book?

When was it written and completed?

You might want this because the information might be old.

We call it dated, and it's no good anymore.

Or it could be relevant, which means it's good and useful now.


And that publishing helps you.

It's a quick glance. Remember?

You might read five books and you can quickly go through everything you need on one piece

of paper.

Especially when you're writing an essay it's important because you need this.



I'm going to come back to that one, because that's usually for me the last thing that happens.

So let's go over here.

After you've written down your basic information-okay?-you're going to write chapters.

You read it.

I don't care what book you read, they have chapters.

Well, have...

Sorry. Let me correct myself.

If they're good books they have chapters.

Magazines even have chapters.


Different part, you know, there's the food one, there's the investment, on clothing.

It's not called a chapter, but you get the idea.

You can put the chapter's title, the basic information because a lot of times they'll

outline what is in this chapter, and then you can put down the important details that

you get.

It doesn't have to be what the book says, it's what maybe you think or what the book says.

This organizes that information so that when you go back it's easier to remember than to

read 400 pages.


Things happen at a certain time.

So what happened and when?

For history this is perfect.

Now, do you remember I told you we could modify one?

You don't need this if this is business.

It's not necessary to have a timeline, but you might have something called business strategies

and it could be business strategies and strategy number one for marketing, strategy number

two for investment.

But let's go back again and say this...

We wanted to change this once again and we wanted to talk about a fictional book, the

life of Muhammad Ali, for instance.

We could change this to put down characters.

And when we say characters, it would be Muhammad Ali's a character, lead character, maybe his

brother is another character for the personality, or when we talk about the types of characters

that are in the book.

You can use it for a whole bunch of things.

So you can take this one arm out and change it.

So we could use it for business, for strategies, you could use it for fiction writing to describe

the characters that are in there.

Now, Muhammad Ali's non-fiction, but let's pretend he went to the moon, that would be

a fictional book. Okay?

So in case you're like: "He's a real guy, I know him!"

You don't know him.

I'm just saying if it was a non-fiction, the guy's name was Muhammad Ali.

Okay? But just you understand, but we can talk about the different types of characters in here

or investment strategies.

So this one arm can be taken out, and this way you can modify this basic mind map for

reading to what you're reading and doing right now.

Now, I talked about all of these and I wanted to leave this one to the end because

comprehension means to understand.

No matter what you read and what you're told, there's always something that you've learned

from that book.

And this is the one that you want to really keep on regardless because you might want

to say: "I learned this."

or "I got this out of this book."

Because when you're going back and it's been a month since you read it or you have to do

an assignment, it's kind of good to say in your conclusion even:

"This is what I learned. This is what I got from this."



Well, look, I hope this mind map lesson has been really good for you.

I enjoyed it.

I'm sure you got something and you can use it.

And once again, if there was some...

You know, some basic questions you had, check in the link, there's a link to the first lesson

I did which was very general giving more of an idea of

what is a mind map and why do you use it.


So anyway, I'd like to say thank you once again.

I always appreciate when you watch our videos, Mr. E and I, though he's not here.

Also, I want you to subscribe, and that's somewhere around here.

If you just look in the box you'll find it.

And the last thing I want to say is this: As I said, I think you found this helpful,

and if that's the case - do me a favour?

Show someone else.

Because if you learn something from it, you should share your knowledge.

That's what we do here at engVid, we'd love it if you can do it as well.

Anyway, have a good one and pick up a book.