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How to Make a Mind Map


Included Images


imageCauses of American Revolution
imageIndependence Hall


The students will...

  • Learn how to use mind mapping effectively to convey complex information
  • Gain an understanding about how to link critical information in an efficient manner
  • Be able to use graphics to convey content
  • Have the students look at the handout, "Causes of the American Revolution." Go over the key information and how each major issue contributed to the conflict emphasizing cause and effect relationships.

    • Taxes: British mercantile policy towards the colonies was a primary cause of the Revolution. After the French and Indian War, Britain ended its policy of salutary neglect and began to enforce imperial laws. They also desired to raise revenue from the colonies to help pay for the expenses incurred by the empire during its many wars.
      • The Stamp Act was the first major British tax on the colonies. It led to non-importation agreements and led Patrick Henry to deliver his famous "Tarquin and Caesar" speech. The Stamp Act Congress met and petitioned the king and Parliament for its successful repeal. This ultimately led to the passage of the Declaratory Act which reaffirmed the right of Parliament to tax the colonies.
      • The Townshend Duties were passed; this was ostensibly an external, regulatory tax but its ultimate goal was to raise money for the royal treasury. The British army was sent to Boston to help enforce these policies which ultimately led to the Boston Massacre.
      • The Tea Act was passed in 1773; it gave a monopoly on the colonial tea trade to the British East India Company and simultaneous placed a tax on imported tea. The patriots in Boston responded by destroying tea that had arrived in the harbor aboard East India Company ships. Fed up with what they saw as colonial impudence, Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts. This led to the First Continental Congress.
    • Ideology was also an important cause of the American Revolution. By 1776, it was clear that the British and the colonists no longer understood one another. While Britain felt that the colonists were ungrateful and impudent, the colonists felt that they were being deprived of their rights as British subjects.
      • Thomas Jefferson wrote the Summary View of Rights of British America which was a radical and powerful explanation of American thinking.
      • Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, put the philosophy of the Enlightenment into easily understood prose.
      • The Declaration of Independence became probably the most eloquent explanation of American beliefs during the period and a justification for the Revolution.

Tips for Students:

  • Chose a central idea which becomes the basis for your mind map.
  • Link associations clearly to show important relationships.
  • Use graphics, pictures, and clip art to help make an effective visualization.
  • Be clear in your connections and do not clutter your mind map with too many branches.


Inspiration is an excellent and inexpensive mind mapping software designed specifically for schools. A free, trial download is available and site licenses are likewise offered for purchase. Sample lessons and projects are showcased