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Graphic Organisers

Concept maps are an example of a visual organiser.They are graphical tools for organising and representing knowledge.

Concept Maps are a powerful study tool using visuals and graphics to promote deep learning.

They are more complex than Mind Maps in that they can be hierarchical and represent relationships and link concepts.

Benefits of Concept Mapping

Concept mapping serves several purposes for learners:
  • Helping students brainstorm and generate new ideas
  • Encouraging students to discover new concepts and the propositions that connect them
  • Allowing students to more clearly communicate ideas, thoughts and information
  • Helping students integrate new concepts with older concepts
  • Enabling students to gain enhanced knowledge of any topic and evaluate the information

How to Build a Concept Map

Concept maps are typically hierarchical, with the specific concepts stemming from the main or general concept or idea. This type of graphic organizer however, always allows change and new concepts to be added.
  • Start with a main idea, topic, or issue to focus on
A helpful way to determine the context of your concept map is to choose a focus question—something that needs to be solved or a conclusion that needs to be reached. Once a topic or question is decided on, that will help with the hierarchical structure of the concept map.
  • Then determine the key concepts
Find the key concepts that connect and relate to your main idea and then group and finally rank them; most general, inclusive concepts come first, then link to smaller, more specific concepts.
  • Finish by connecting concepts--creating linking phrases and words
Once the basic links between the concepts are created, add cross-links, which connect concepts in different areas of the map, to further illustrate the relationships and strengthen your understanding and knowledge on the topic.

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