Thinking Maps

Circle Map: The circle map is just two concentric circles. In the middle of the circle you put the key ideas and on the outside circle you put everything you know about those ideas. It is like a basket that collects words or ideas, and those words and ideas are not always connected.

Bubble Map: A bubble map may look like a cluster or a web, but it’s not. A bubble map is only for describing things. It uses only one part of speech—the adjective.

Double Bubble Map: A double bubble map documents the thinking involved in comparing and contrasting, in showing similar and different qualities of things. Kids love the double bubble map because they can control it so easily.

Tree Map: The underlying thinking process for a tree map is classification and organization. This is truly just an outline form. A tree map is literally the whole subject, main idea, main idea, details, details, details. It helps students look at text and understand text structures. They can take information from the book and organize it.

Brace Map: The brace map helps identify whole and part relationships. It is used for something concrete that can be broken into components or subparts. A brace map is different from a tree map because you physically break things apart with a brace map. A tree map shows the classification of the parts—where you put the main ideas and details— while the brace map shows the components of the whole.

Flow Map: If you want to work with a sequence of events, a flow map is helpful. First, you can use a circle map to list out things, e.g. what you have to do today. Then you can put them in sequence— what comes first, what comes second, etc. You prioritize and give them a sequence.

Multi-flow Map: Multi-flow maps are one of the most powerful maps. Multi-flow maps show cause and effect. The event is in the middle.The causes go to the left and effects go in the boxes to the right.

Bridge Map: A bridge map is used to illustrate analogies and metaphors. It’s helpful for showing the relationship of the concrete to the abstract.