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Ministry of Education.

Concept map

How to use a concept map

A concept map is similar to a  structured overview. The concept map is an arrangement of key words and concepts on a topic. Lines connect the words or subtopics showing their relationship to the central idea and to each other. The more general key words are often in the centre and the details or examples are connected to these keys words with lines.

The teacher prepares a list of key words for a topic and gives a set of words to each pair or small group. The students group related words and put them in position on a piece of paper or card. They draw the links (arrows) between the words and linking words are written above each linking arrow. Discussion at this point helps clarify understanding of concepts. There is no one right way to arrange and link the words. The task should take about 45 minutes to complete.

Benefits of concept maps

This diagrammatic overview of the topic helps tie new information to existing knowledge. It can be used to introduce a topic, finding out what students already know and providing a framework for studying the topic. It can be added to as the learning progresses or it can be used for review at the end of a unit. It may be teacher organised, teacher and student organised or student organised. It can be used individually, in pairs or small groups.

 Students developing concept maps use paired or small group discussion to:

  • link new information to existing knowledge
  • think about relationships between ideas
  • categorise ideas
  • clarify their thoughts
  • learn key vocabulary.


Concept Map - Science Years 10-11- Genetics Concept Map (RTF 168KB)
Concept Map - Science Years 10-11- Astronomy (RTF 33KB)
Concept Map - Science Years 10-11- Physical and Chemical Changes in Matter (RTF 386KB)
Concept Map - Physics Year 12- Electricity (RTF 21KB)
Concept Map - Physics Year 12- Energy and Momentum (RTF 56KB)
Concept Map - Physics Year 12- Projectile (RTF 21KB)
Concept Map - Physics Year 12- Rotational Motion (RTF 133KB)
Concept Map - Physics Year 12- SHM (RTF 42KB)
Concept Map - Forces and Movement (RTF 384KB)

Published on: 23 Feb 2018