Activity 3: Creating a Concept Map


Now that you have a basic understanding of what a concept map is, develop a concept map on "A Dog" with pencil and paper. The following concept map is an example:

Concept Map Example on Cats


One way to begin is to list sub-topics and then classify them by ranking them from general to specific in a kind of top-down approach. For example, the topic of cats (see the concept map example above) might trigger some thoughts about mammals, different kinds of cats, or pets. These general sub-topics will most likely elicit thoughts about even more specific topics such as four legs, tails, spine, hair type, and friends of people.

Another way to begin is to simply start brainstorming or "free associating" by jotting down every idea that comes to mind. After brainstorming, you can classify the items. Make use of the tools that are available to you and that make sense for you. Consider using colors, numbers, codes, arrows, paper clips, or different sizes or colors of "sticky" or "post-it" notes.

Regardless of how you decide to approach this map, always keep in mind the central word, concept, question, or problem for which you are building the map. Then, think about the concepts, words, descriptions, subjects, items, or issues that are connected to or associated with your central word or idea.

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