Strategy: Concept Maps
A concept map is a tool used to list and organise thoughts, questions and ideas on a particular topic. A concept map is usually created around a central theme or idea, from which students’ link in related ideas, comments, understanding and questions. Links are generally donated as lines or arrows, which can also be labelled to explain the nature of the links. This tool can help to give insight into a student’s understanding of a body of knowledge, and get them to think about the different relationships and links between different ideas and concepts within a topic. This technique is ideally used at the beginning of a topic, but can also be used as a tool to track student learning, by re-visiting it to add more throughout a topic.
- Select the key theme/problem/question to explore and write in in the centre of the page
- Give students time in small groups to write down as many ideas as they can linked to the central theme
- Discuss ideas as a class
- Students can then be extended by getting them to create links between the different ideas that they have listed
- After completion of a topic, students can use their concept maps to compare what they knew at the start of a topic to hat they have learned.