Why is Mapping so important? Mapping helps students organize words, concepts, and /or images. It provides additional memory associations and connections as well as offer a means of organizing and analyzing information.
- By mapping ideas, or sentences, stories, directions, etc., you are providing means of associating different but related items and this in turn helps memory.
- By seeing, reading, and constructing maps for various subjects, students are creating more memory associations, more ways to see and think about the material at hand.
- More memory associations mean more ways of retrieving information on demand.
- Once incorporated into long-term memory, mapping and remembering structures (of sentences, of stories, of ideas) frees the mind to construct, abstract and be more creative as the underlying structures are so clearly understood.
- Cartography - stars are mapped much as seas and lands are mapped - to help navigate and determine points of reference;
- (Military, political) campaigns;
- Math - functions, shapes, patterns, relationships are all mapped to gain a clearer conceptual understanding;
- Science (experiments, concepts, surveys) - to understand relationships of factors studied;
- Concepts, Metaphors and Analogies can be mapped to help understand inferences and relationships;
- Words - are mapped to help students recognize definitions, antonyms, synonyms and to build overall vocabulary;
- Sentences - are mapped to help students better understand how sentences are constructed, to help them better understand word usage, and to help them be more effective and efficient communicators;
- Stories - are mapped to help students better understand relationships between characters, concepts, plots, settings and themes.
Word mapping is a visual means to help students think about and remember words and word usage. Here is one example from http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/word_maps/:
Sentence mapping encourages students to break down a sentence into its component parts. Sentence mapping promotes vocabulary and encourages students to think about terms or concepts in several ways. It also helps students better understand, recognize, and employ proper sentence structure. Sentence mapping encourage students to build upon prior knowledge and visually represent new information. And yet, given these essential skills, it is often not done or is certainly not done enough. Sentence mapping should be routine - especially for weaker language learners. So here is what you can/should do for younger and older language learners:
- For preschoolers this might mean finding the noun or subject of the sentence, adjectives or 'describers' and the verb or action in a sentence.
- For grade-schoolers this means decomposing sentences in to verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, clauses, modifiers, and compliments.
- They can color code different parts of speech within the sentence,
- They can put nouns and verbs above and modifiers below a sentence diagram (see below), or
- They can simply label parts of speech above or below the sentence.
Here is a different type of sentence mapping (from elec-intro.com) where words are identified by their usage:
...And from en.wikipedia.org:
Story Mapping - helps students visually organize various story elements such as characters, plot, setting, themes, problems, and solutions. Story maps are used to help student comprehension, to illustrate the framework, structure, and organization of a story, and to teach students how to compare, contrast and organize various story elements.
There a dozens of different types of story map graphic organizers. For young students, story maps often simply plot on the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Understanding story sequence is essential for critical thinking, for writing, and for communicating. There are maps that help describe characters, that trace sequences and relationships of story events, that graph word usage and compare and contrast concepts and themes.
Here is a simple beginning/middle/end story map, again from AdLit.org :
Reading Rocket) students use a venn diagram to map relationships:
While many kids find this challenging (and some - I was one) boring, it is actually quite important for students to do. Once the concept of mapping is understood, you might let them create their own types of 'mapping' while incorporating form and structure. Talk about what works and doesn't work with their maps and why. Make it fun and meaningful.
Thank you for your time and your visit. I'd love to hear what you think...