Use these sheets in research to denote data that are pluses, minuses, and interesting.

These blank templates give you labeled spaces that allow for fast and clear sorting so you have a reference later on. The complexity of your project will help determine which sheet to use, based on the number of available rows for data. Note: These charts make excellent companion sheets when used in conjunction with the Persuasion sheets or the Fact and Opinion sheets located elsewhere on this site.

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Printable PMI Charts

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Traditional PMI Chart

Standard PMI Chart

Three unbroken vertical columns for small subjects or general sorting. This is the common starting point when using these types of templates. As your need for more information increases, you will want to scroll down the page for those templates.

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3 Row PMI Chart

3 Row Chart

The PMI columns are divided into three rows for tracking multiple variables or subjects. This allows you to section things off into three compartments. This can be helpful when using a timeline of sorts.

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4 Row PMI Chart

4 Row PMI Chart

The columns are divided into four rows for tracking multiple variables or subjects. Grow through this more and see what it makes you do.

5 Row PMI Chart

5 Row PMI Chart

The columns are divided into five rows for tracking multiple variables or subjects. I wish I could use this one a lot more because it prints so nicely and is so applicable to most content areas.

6 Row PMI Organizer

6 Row PMI

When you have a great deal to ponder, this type of PMI chart may make a great deal of sense to work with.

7 Row PMI Organizer

7 Row PMI

When data and your thoughts are in excess, this can help you think more about this.

8 Row PMI

8 Row PMI

The columns are divided into eight rows to help you when you are tracking multiple variables or subjects. This is a version that we use often in my classes.

How to Use PMI Charts with Students

When it comes to making tough decisions and through critical thinking, there are a lot of tools that they can use. These tools help students understand complex issues and make well-thought decisions. There is one smart tool that students are encouraged to use during brain storming activities and that is the PMI chart. Whether you are trying to choose a course of action, constructing (or deconstructing) an argument, or conducting research, you need a way to quickly qualify the facts and opinions you discover. For starters, PMI is an acronym for 'plus,' 'minus,' and 'interesting' or 'implications.' It is brainstorming, decision making, and critical thinking tool. It helps students in analyzing and understanding complex issues it also allows them to make fully backed up decisions.

These charts were created by Edward de Bono in 1992. It is way to discuss the pros and cons of a topic. Build sufficient support for a decision after listing the factors that work in its favor and those that don't.

PMI stands for "Plus, Minus, Interesting." PMI charts are effective decision-making, brainstorming, and critical thinking tools. Educators and professionals in various industries use them to initiate and facilitate discussion about the pros, cons, and implications of a specific concept, idea, suggestion, plan, etc.

In an academic setting, PMI charts can be a handy technique for teachers when moderating discussions about volatile topics, sensitive societal issues, and difficult decisions associated with a project, among other things. The result is that students are encouraged and feel more confident about assessing concepts/ideas/theories from multiple perspectives. PMI charts were the creation of Dr. Edward de Bono, a Maltese writer, psychologist, physician, philosopher, inventor, and consultant.

When to Use Them

Despite the fancy name, there’s nothing complicated about PMI charts. In fact, they’re among the simplest project management and analytical tools. Within a classroom, they’re a great option to get your students to consider everything in detail and organize their thoughts into positive, negative, and engaging aspects about something.

PMI charts will give you the best results when you use them to manage complex term projects assigned to the students. For the young knowledge seekers, it will enable them to consider diverging points of view and collaborate on important decisions.

Dr. Bono, the much-revered creator of PMI charts, wanted to come up with something that would promote lateral thinking among people. He considered "groupthink" to be a serious problem that had taken away the effectiveness of conventional brainstorming. Groupthink is the belief that people working in teams tend to focus more on supporting an existing idea instead of utilizing their creative abilities to come up with new solutions.

Hence, your aim with a PMI chart should be to expand the mental horizons of all students in your class. By allowing them to analyze everything in detail and consider multiple points of view about a topic/idea/suggestion/theory, you’re indirectly improving their creative and critical thinking skills.

Beyond the classroom, PMI charts have a variety of applications in the business world. One common approach is to create a PMI template for retrospective use. When this is developed and filled right after completing a project, the management can obtain precious feedback. This can be used later on for continuous improvement.

Creating a PMI Chart

Putting together your own unique PMI chart is pretty simple and straightforward. However, it would help if you ideally did so with your students. In other words, putting the framework together when class is in session is better than doing so in your office while planning a lecture.

There are also multiple free online tools available. They can help you quickly create a PMI chart for your lessons and class projects. If you prefer a more personalized approach, start with a concept board divided into three columns: Plus, Minus, and Interesting.

Now, ask your students to add any positive thoughts about a topic or group project. Do the same for the other two columns. When the board has been completed, give the kids time to review all the notes. Moreover, it would help if you encouraged them to ask follow-up questions and try to look for anything (a point of discussion) that might have been missed.

Parting Thoughts

PMI charts can help make your classes much more engaging and thought-provoking. When you have multiple groups of students working on a project, everyone from every team would have differing views. They would be focusing and placing their perceived value on different things. Yet, at the same time, they will be objectively considering all divergent views. The result would be a great round of thoughtful discussion that could generate countless new ideas.