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Intended Learning Outcome:

To get students to write an essay plan in a mind map


Using a messy, unstructured approach to essay planning can help to get all ideas onto the page before a sequential order is found.


Discuss a topic to be written about.

Ask students to create a mind map listing as many relevant factors to the subject as possible.

Students now look for connections between different components on the map and start to prioritise and categorise them.

Reviewing the map starts to create a narrative order which will become the essay plan.


You could model this with a mind map that the whole group contributes to on the board to demonstrate the process.


Large Group Teaching:

Demonstrating this as a whole-group activity can be useful as a first step before students create their own individual maps. They can peer-assess their maps in small groups.

Online Teaching:

The maps could be made on Zoom whiteboard or Jamboard (a Google whiteboard –


Students have a clear idea of how to prioritise and categorise when essay planning.

Next Steps:

Use the PECTA TLA to write text for each part of the essay.

Links to other activities:

The PECTA TLA for writing –

Further reading:



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