Thinking Maps

Thinking Maps Logo

We have implemented Thinking Maps throughout our entire school for students to use in all curricular areas.  We have focused the most around their use with our Writing, but we are also using this style of thought organization whenever it fits naturally.  

So what are Thinking Maps?  It is a focused way to organize thought.  Students are taught eight different ways to organize their ideas.  See each style below.  

Circle Map
Defining a Concept
Bubble Map
Describing with Adjectives
Circle Map
Bubble Map
  • Define
  • Brainstorm
  • List
  • Identify
  • Tell Everything They Know

"What does _____ mean?"
"Can you define _____?"

  • Describe Using Adjectives
  • Identify Characteristics
  • Identify Properties
  • Identify Qualities

"How would you describe_____?"

Double Bubble Map
Comparing and Contrasting
Tree Map
Double Bubble Map

Tree Map

  • Identifying Similarities and Differences
  • Differentiate Between Characters or Objects
  • Analyze Comparisons and Contrasts

"How are ___ and ___ alike/different?"

  • To Classify
  • To Characterize
  • To Sort or Group
  • To Give Sufficient and Related Details
  • For Convergent and Divergent Thinking

"What is the main idea of_____?"
"What are the supporting details?"

Flow Map
Multi-flow Map
Cause and Effect
Flow Map
Multi-flow map

  • Sequence Steps, Stages, or Events
  • Order Information
  • Analyze Patterns

"How would you demonstrate the steps for solving _____?"

  • Causes or Effects
  • Impacts and/or Benefits
  • Reasons and/or Results

"What is the impact of the author's point of view on _____?"
"How would you evaluate the arguments and claims in ____?"

Brace Map
Identifying Part / Whole Relationships
Bridge Map
Seeing Analogies
Brace Map

Bridge Map

  • Identify the Parts of a Whole
  • Deconstruct Problems
  • Show Physical Components

"Analyze the structural parts of _____ and suggest improvements."

  • Connect Related Ideas and Relationships
  • Understand Analogies and Metaphors

"What is the relationship between _____ and _____?"