Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Concept Mapping
1. What is it?
2. Advantages/Disadvantages
3. Integration example/Outcome(s)

1. Concept mapping is visually representing concepts and ideas, in the form of a web, which shows the connections between them. They are a way to organize information making the whole picture easier to understand. They have many uses: brainstorming, integrating new and old knowledge, communication of complex ideas, to support reading comprehension, etc.
2. Some advantages of concept mapping: They would be beneficial to visual learners. They would be useful in introducing new concepts, studying, organizing information as well as showing how different concepts relate to one another. They are also used to show different hierarchies. A huge advantage is that concept mapping could be used for any subject or topic if used appropriately, e.g. Drama: using it to show how all the characters are related to each other in a play, French: introduction of new vocabulary words, for example, starting with “body” in the middle and then all the body parts coming out of that word (in French of course). Another advantage would be that these maps could be done easily on the chalkboard, overhead and paper.
Some disadvantages would be: having too much information and links, making the whole map very cluttered and hard to read. With regards to the programs such as Kidspiration and Inspiration, maybe some schools cannot afford them or do not think they are necessary programs to incorporate. Another disadvantage may be that some kids cannot interpret them –they are not visual learners.
3. As an example of integrating concept mapping into my classroom, I would have the students make a rough concept map while having a few chapters form a new novel read to them aloud. They could put the main characters in the middle and others coming out of them. On the arrow they would state one word to describe the relationship of the people to the main character and to others. I guess it would be called a “character map”. This would be done on paper first as they were listening and then completed using Kidspiration.
Outcomes:
P.3(1.2) create visual images by using such tools as paint and draw programs for particular audiences and purposes.
P.4(1.2) balance text and graphics for visual effect.

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