Concept Mapping

Semantic Web, Story Web

UDL 2.1 UDL 3.2 UDL 5.2

Concept mapping is a way of visually organizing and representing knowledge around a key term or concept. Concept mapping is a teaching tool that helps students understand the key concept through making connections of words and phrases with the main idea (e.g. key concept).

Ready-to-Use Resources

Graphic Organizer

Basic 8-Point Concept Map

Concept Map for students to record and synthesize their thinking. This graphic organizer is versatile and can be used for brainstorming, pre-writing, vocabulary building, and much more. Included is a variation that includes a space to write a paragraph using the information generated and recorded on the concept map.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Reading, Writing · 2 pages

Graphic Organizer

Circle Maps

A Circle Map is used to define and demonstrate understanding of a term or a concept. Write the concept or term inside the inner circle. Then, have students brainstorm and write down all of their thoughts related to the topic inside the larger circle. Included is a version with space to write a paragraph using the information collected for the Circle Map. This graphic organizer can be used across grade levels and subject areas.

Grade 3, 4, 5 · English Language Arts, Reading, Math · 2 pages

Graphic Organizer

Extended Web: Graphic Organizers

A collection of extended concept maps that allow students to expand upon initial brainstorming. Use these graphic organizers to engage students in more detailed thinking about a broader topic as well as cause and effect relationships. Variations include a web map, as well as vertical and horizontal flow charts.

Grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Math · 3 pages

Graphic Organizer

Tree Diagram: Concept Map

A Tree Diagram is used to expand upon a concept, idea, or person/character as well as cause and effect relationships. Write the topic on the tree trunk and related ideas, characteristics, or effects on the branches and leaves. This graphic organizer can be used across subject areas. Additionally, the tree graphic is particularly useful for younger students who may need support in visualizing the connections between the broader topic and specific ideas or details.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 1 pages

Implementation Tips

Character Analysis
Can be used to understand character and story development.
Themes in History and Literature
Can be used to teach big themes in history & literature (e.g. respect, compassion, responsibility).
Support using Word Bank or Pictures
Have additional word bank and/or pictures to add to the concept map.
Multiple Modes of Expression
Can use multiple modes of expression (e.g. drawing, writing, etc).
Example of Vocabulary Concept Map
AVID has created a specialized vocabulary concept map for available for download [[ | here ]]


Concept mapping can be used for vocabulary instruction, especially when the target word represents a large and complex concept. AVID has created a specialized vocabulary concept map for available for download [[ | here ]]. The concept maps includes the components: * Definition and prediction * Synonyms * Antonyms * Examples from life or reading * Picture/symbol representation
Science Concepts
Students write the big concept “Earth” in the central bubble. * Students brainstorm “what is Earth” and write ideas on post-its. * Students categorize items into sub-categories and write ideas in smaller bubbles-list (e.g. rivers, valleys, air, rocks) * Students make a connection with the big concept “Earth” and the relationships with the ideas by drawing lines – connectors (animals, plants – live on Earth) * Students share concept maps with others in class.

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