Concept Mapping

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Concept Mapping



Meaningful learning is one of the objectives of teaching. There have been several efforts to improve students learning. One of such efforts is to try several instructional strategies. Concept mapping is one such strategy. It helps in developing conceptual understanding among the students with inter relations between the concepts. It is a process that results in a concept map.

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After studying this module you will be able to - describe the meaning of concept mapping

- describe the features of a concept map

- state the steps involved in concept mapping

- construct concept maps

- explain the uses of concept maps

Feature of a concept map

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Concept maps are diagrammatic representations that show meaningful relationship between concepts in the form of prepositions. These prepositions describe the connections between concepts. Usually concepts are written inside a __ or a box and connected by lines with connecting words. Concepts are arranged in a hierarchical order from top to bottom.

There can also be thinks laterally evaluating the concepts together. It is also possible to show integration of concepts across subjects. Fig. 1 shows the structure of a concept map.

Steps in concept mapping

In the construction of a concept map, following steps are followed. It is advisable to involve students at every stage of concept mapping.

Step 1 : Identify the concepts from a selected unit/chapter. List them on the black board

Step 2 : Arrange the concepts in a hierarchical order top to bottom

Step 3 : Select the concepts that fall laterally

Step 4 : Draw circles / boxes around the concepts and draw lines linking the concepts

Step 5 : Write the linking words. Concept map is ready.

Step 6 : Read the whole concept map. See whether all possible links are marked.

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In case the concept maps look too crowded, it may be reconstructed. After drawing the concept map on the black board involving the students, they may be encouraged to draw on their own. To begin with they can complete any incomplete concept map. Later, they can be asked to construct a concept map on their own Fig. 2 shows a concept map on types of industries.

Uses of concept maps

The concept maps can be used at any stage of the lesson. When it is used at the introductory stage, students get a complete picture of what they are going to learn. If used at the developmental stage, students are taken smoothly from one concept to another. It can also be used to sum up the chapter and even to evaluate the understanding of the students of what is being taught.


1. Study Fig. 2 and work out step 1, 2 & 3 of the concept map

2. Select any topic of your choice and draw a concept map. Show every step of concept mapping

3. Draw an incomplete concept map which you plan to use at the evaluation stage. Show a few empty boxes and connecting words with meaningful gaps.

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You may like to read this article on The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them[[1]]

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Here is a concept map on concept map [[2]]

See this video on concept map

Key Ideas Underlying Concept Maps And How They Can Be Used - Part 1/2[[3]]

Key Ideas Underlying Concept Maps And How They Can Be Used - Part 2/2[[4]]