Concept maps are visual representations students create to connect ideas, concepts, and terms. Students can use them to organize information they already know and to incorporate new learning with this prior knowledge. Concept maps help you see how students understand content.
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How to Use
Have students brainstorm main ideas and terms related to an assigned topic.
Organize these ideas from general to specific. Cluster ideas or terms that are similar to one another.
Students should write the terms in the appropriate cells of the concept map. Arrange and add cells as needed.
Draw arrows or lines to connect the cells that contain words that are related. Words or phrases can be written along these lines to explain the relationship between the cells.
When to Use
Concept maps are vey versitle and can be used in any grade level and for all content areas.
To organize ideas while reading a story, novel, or article
During the Guided Practice section of a lesson so students can synthesize information just covered
As a closing activity so that students can review what was learned in the lesson
Before a unit to access prior knowledge
As an assessment tool or to check for understanding
This is a similar tool to a Concept Map but can be more flexible and personal, as it represents a “map” of the student’s mind when thinking about a particular topic or concept. Mind Maps typically include pictures, drawings, and diagrams when expressing connections between ideas. Instead of using a set template, the students create their own mind map on a blank piece of paper.