Kidspiration is a visual learning (concept mapping) software program designed for K-5 learners. (Inspiration is the comparable application for use with older students.)

A free trial download is available.


Kidspiration uses visual learning techniques to help students:

What is visual learning (concept mapping)?

Students work with ideas graphically, which helps them see relationships– they can see how ideas are connected, as well as any patterns that may exist. This approach encourages them to clarify and organize their thoughts. It also stimulates and reinforces understanding. Kidspiration helps develop and reinforce emerging literacy skills by showing the connections between words and their meanings as students can switch back and forth between the “picture” and “writing” mode in the Kidspiration program. Students gain confidence in creating stories.


Why visual learning?

Research shows that visual learning is effective in getting students to understand and retain ideas. It increases the opportunity to tap additional/alternative learning styles (multiple intelligences).

How can teachers and students personalize and enhance learning using Kidspiration?

  1. Teachers can create and add their own activities for students to use.
  1. The symbol library may be customized by importing/adding images
  1. Students and teachers may also create (draw) and use their own symbols/images

How easy is it to learn to use Kidspiration?

Kidspiration is incredibly easy and intuitive to use – easy for kids and easy for teachers.

Take a quick tour of Kidspiration

  2. The first screen you will view is the Kidspiration Starter



3. Here you have a choice to
    1. Start a new document by either
      • Starting Kidspiration in the Picture mode
      • Starting Kidspiration in the Writing mode
        You can switch between the picture and writing mode at any time
        while working on a document. They are just two different ways of
        looking at the Kidspiration document
    1. Open an existing document
    2. Choose an activity that has been built in or added to the program by a teacher
    3. Quit the program


4. Look at Picture mode to get an overview of the workspace



5. Students may drag symbols from the symbol library to the workspace to link ideas, import a graphic (using file menu), or create their own symbols with the Symbol Maker

6. Symbol Maker workspace



In the Symbol Maker workspace, learners can draw their own symbols. The drawing tools are similar to those in other graphic programs and introduce students to those tools in a simplified environment.

7. Teacher Menu Options

Using the Teacher Menu, teachers may create a new symbol library, edit an existing symbol library, save new teacher created activities, and set preferences for a number of application options.







8. The work in Kidspiration may be exported to a word processor, the web, or as a graphics file.

Example 1. -- Picture Mode to a jpeg:



Example 2. -- Writing mode to a Word document:

Group Work


Talk ideas over.

Give jobs to everyone


Show people how to do things if they are stuck


Ideas, supplies, links

Listen to other people's ideas


Make people feel good about their ideas


Do your fair share.

Don't waste time


9. Video Tutorial for Kidspiration1 from Atomic Learning Library -- this is an excellent free "step-by- step" walk- through of how to use the many features of Kidspiration. Even if you are using Version 2, take a look (

Kidspiration 2 video tutorials (no audio): 1. Starter, 2. Quick Tour, 3. Working in a Kidspiration Document ,
 4. Using the Symbol Maker, 5. Adding a Hyperlink, 6. Using the Super Grouper 
Note: Save file first, then open -- use Windows Media Player 9 (wmv media)

10. Additional Web Resources for using Kidspiration -- tutorials, examples, lessons, activities, and tips

    1. NCCS Technology Tutorials – Kidspiration
    2. NCCS Staff-made Kidspiration Collection
    3. NCCS Kidspired Activities
    4. NCCS Kidspired Tales
    5. Beyond the book
    6. Early Childhood Technology Literacy Project
    7. Using Kidspiraton for Early Literacy
    8. Kidspiration Skills Assessments
    9. Tech4Learning “ Kidspiration How to’s”
    10. OCSD Using Kidspiration
    11. OCSD Kidspiration Links
    12. OCSD Kidspiration Example
    13. Teacher Examples
    14. Graphic Organizers Teacher Examples
    15. Lesson Using Kidspiration
    16. Kidspiration Templates
    17. Ideas for Using Kidspiration


© Joel Black 2004
TED510 Class Presentation Resource

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