Visual Thinking

Tools for mapping your ideas

By: Christine Valenza , Nancy Margulies


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 254mm x 203mm
Pages : 176
ISBN : 9781904424567
Format: Paperback
Published: August 2004

Free yourself from the limiting belief that you can’t draw and move into the world of visible thinking. With this book you will be able to build on what you already know about the skill of communicating in words and pictures, lead students through activities that promote thinking skills, and make your classroom a more lively and engaging place to learn.

Margulies and Valenza, two of the best-known visual facilitators in the business world, bring their expertise to the classroom and share their secrets for conveying complex ideas simply. If one picture is worth a thousand words, this book is worth millions. The authors have compiled a Symbolary of easy to draw iconographs that can be used to enrich communication, provoke deeper thought, and make the process of mind-mapping a breeze.

Ten years ago Mapping Inner Space (ISBN 1904424473) was published, bringing the concept of mapping and making Mindscapes to thousands of classrooms throughout the world. This book has even more ideas about using mapping and mindscaping in the classroom, more symbols, and more templates that students can use to help them think through challenging problems. If Mapping Inner Space got you fired up and asking for more, then this is the book for you.

Picture for author Christine Valenza

Christine Valenza

Christine Valenza works with corporations, governmental agencies, universities, communities, and non-profits throughout the United States and the world as a graphic facilitator. She has held leadership roles in Healthy Community Projects all over California, presents workshops on innovation and visual means of increasing understanding in groups, in addition to publishing articles and workbooks on these subjects.

Picture for author Nancy Margulies

Nancy Margulies

As entrepreneur, author, and creative resource, Nancy's clients are as diverse as the Clinton White House and Cabinet, the Dalai Lama, and scores of Fortune 500 companies including Intel, Boeing, and Xerox. She is well known for her development of Mindscaping, the visual mapping of complex concepts.

Her most recent books are short fiction, Short Shorts: Sudden Fiction and Animal Husband published by Mel C Thompson.


  1. ,'The Wisdom of Milton H. Erickson, by Dr. R.A. Havens is a"concordance of Ericksons concepts and knowledge,. Havens manages what few achieve, a scholarly and erudite overview of one of the most brilliant and prolific writers of the twentieth century and one of the greatest thinkers, practitioners and innovators in the field of hypnotherapy. Havens writes with clarity and in a style that makes Ericksons work both accessible and engaging not only to those already familiar with his teachings but equally to those who are learning about hypnosis for the first time. Ericksons simple and"audaciously revolutionary concepts, are explored in brief chapter introductions followed by examples of his teachings and philosophy gleaned from 140 texts: ideal for those wishing to refresh earlier encounters with Ericksons work.
  2. This is a terrific workbook for any coach, teacher, trainer or facilitator who wants the engage the visual learners among their clients or perhaps add a more visual flair to their work. If you are currently using lists of words written on a flipchart in black or blue, this workbook will help you transform your visuals. It's especially suitable for those who believe they cannot draw because it takes you by the hand and leads you through how to present information visually, starting from how to draw a square right up to combining easy to learn shapes that can produce great looking visuals.

    The book starts by introducing “mindscaping” - a term for representing information visually using symbols, diagrams and mindmaps. It then goes onto one of the very best sections - an a-z symbol dictionary with handy symbols and pictograms for common concepts. Although written primarily for teachers with students, the ideas and template can be easily adapted to all forms of group work.

    For disclosure, I received a review copy and the test for me is always “would I buy this with my own money?”. In the case of Visual Thinking - definitely, I can see this becoming a well thumbed reference book and is now part of my workshop kit.
  3. This book immediately grabs your attention and makes you want to look at it as it is so visual! As someone who constantly promotes visual support for teaching and thinking this book is like a Godsend. It explains everything visually itself, thus showing the power of the approach. In the introduction it describes the benefits of using mapping and visual images. It then has a chapter on Making Mindscapes.

    This is followed by a chapter called The Copy Cat's Guide to Drawing, in which the authors show you how to draw step by step, using simple shapes. The section on drawing faces is great for depicting different emotions and moods and they go on to people, movement and allsorts. There is a large section of images in alphabetical order which can be easily copied.

    The next chapter is Creating and Using Symbols. As a user of Writing with Symbols I would still find this useful for instant creativity when a computer was not available and when symbols are required to link to personal and specific circumstances. The last chapter, Mindscape Templates looks at thinking skills, problem solving, goal setting and more.

    I think this book would be useful for all teachers of pupils of any age. We live in a symbol society and many of us visual learners. With the visual environment children and young people are exposed to nowadays (t.v., computers, etc) teaching needs to be visual in order to stimulate their minds. This book would help all of us, including those who say they can't draw. Well worth the price.
  4. An interesting book what will appeal to some readers more than others. The visual learner will definitely find this book appealing.
  5. Refreshingly simple, Visual Thinking provides a potent and easily implemented visual lesson plan in problem solving and critical thinking. With practical applications for any organization, it is especially useful for children as they navigate in a complex world. The real power in Visual Thinking lies in the possibilities for deeper thinking, understanding, and more effective communication.
  6. This book has developed my personal skills in visual representations, improving both by understanding and recall. Teacher at all levels will find mindscaping useful and the ideas generated will promote practice. I have successfully used the ideas within the chapter on “Finding Common Ground” in reducing conflict between students; in particular in addressing bullying and promoting co-operation. An excellent resouce for all schools and colleges.
  7. A helpful hands-on tool for classroom teachers and group facilitators. Those of us who are artistically challenged will particularly love using this book! Immediately usable.
  8. This book reawakens the powerful part of us that is the image maker, a resource that often lies dormant and unused. Visual Thinking is an excellent tool for teachers, tutors, and parents, who are working with students that are primarily visual learners in school systems that are not always designed for them. This is also a practical guide for anyone working with students with learning differences and looking for new ways to bring information.
  9. Visual Thinking is a wonderful, inviting workbook that gives you the basic tools for “speaking” visual language, a language I have predicted will be a new international auxiliary language. With this book, nobody has an excuse like “but I can't draw.” With Visual Thinking anybody can begin to put thoughts in graphic form. And teachers, parents, and kids will delight in the ease and fun of doing it. The authors have provided easy-to-follow tips for drawing, over 500 simple-to-draw icons and visual symbols, and more than a dozen templates for putting together ideas to create and convey larger patterns of thoughts.
  10. In a climate where more and more students are having learning problems, the Visual Thinking method is one of the most valuable tools I am aware of. I have seen it in operation and can not recommend it highly enough.

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