This activity is useful when connected with a specific research or creative assignment. Can be used at any level, and is often particularly effective with upper-level students.
Tip: some faculty members do this with their classes, so check with them in advance!
Ideally, you'll use a white board to go over concept mapping, also known as mind mapping. If you don't have access to a white board, you can also use this online tool, but make sure you test it out on your computer before class starts.
It's helpful to share an example, like this concept map of John Berger's Ways of Seeing.
Image via tumblr.austinkleon.com
This activity can be done quickly and individually or "critique style" where students work in groups and critique each others' concept maps.
Individual concept mapping: ~10 minutes
Critique: ~15-20 minutes
This activity can also be used as a lead-in to keyword generation and database/catalog searching as in this example.