Semantic Map Comprehension Strategy

Another way to classify information is by using a semantic map (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2006).  A semantic map is one in which the key concept is at the categorically center surrounded by important ideas that connect to it.  The farther ideas are from the center, the more specific the information.  This method should be used as a review of concepts.  Although this method is similar to a brainstorming map, there is a significant difference.  In the semantic map, the teacher provides vocabulary that must be included in the graphic.  Sometimes, teachers choose to give students an incomplete map for students to finish.  Students must provide the details.

Strategy Steps

  1. Provide students with a list of vocabulary that must relate to a key concept.
  2. Students should put the key concept in the center.  (The key concept may be provided, or students may be required to develop it.)  
  3. Students shou consider how the rest of the information connects to the key concept.  Create bubbles containing the main categories of information.  Connect these to the key concept.  (As a guide for the first few times to help students narrow their thinking, the number of main categories may be provided.)
  4. Students should connect supporting details to the main categories from which they derive.
  5. Discuss the whole semantic map.  Note how the ideas--from supporting detail to key concept--connect. 


Implementation Guide

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