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Why use a concept map?
It helps children organize new information. It helps students to make meaningful connections between the main idea and other information. They're easy to construct and can be used within any content area.
How to use a concept map
Note: It is important that teachers spend time introducing younger students to charts and diagrams prior to using this strategy.
There are several ways to construct concept maps. Most include the following steps:
Model how to identify the major ideas or concepts presented in a selection of text as you read.
Organize the ideas into categories. Remind students that your organization may change as you continue to read and add more information.
Use lines or arrows on the map to represent how ideas are connected to one another, a particular category, and/or the main concept. Limit the amount of information on the map to avoid frustration. After students have finished the map, encourage them to share and reflect on how they each made the connections between concepts. Encourage students to use the concept map to summarize what was read.
Download blank templates
Template 1 (280K PDF)
Template 2 (52K PDF)
Template 3 (56K PDF)
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