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  • Students of all ages

  • Narrative and expository texts

    • Vocabulary development

    • Assess/develop/activate prior knowledge

    • Motivation

    • Set purpose for reading

    • Identify characteristics/traits

    • Identify similarities and differences

    • Link new concept to prior knowledge

    • Postreading--comprehension

    • Postreading--study skills

Strategy

The semantic mapping strategy can be used as:

  • a study skill to guide the processing of textbook material.

  • an advance organizer.

  • a model for note taking and outlining.

  • a prewriting activity for planning and organizing a composition.

 
Strategy Steps for Vocab Development
  • Write the targeted vocabulary word in a box in the middle of the board or chart paper.

  • Students brainstorm to identify all the words they can that relate to the target word.

  • Write the words on the board.

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  • Next, categorize the words. Label each list with the appropriate category title; or:

    • students categorize the words and label the categories; or

    • teacher supplies the category labels and the students list each word under the appropriate category; or

    • teacher lists the words in the appropriate groupings and the students supply the category name.

  • Explain how the word relates to the story or selection, or ask the students to predict how they think the word will connect to the story or selection.

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  • If using to assess prior knowledge of the topic in the text selection:

    • Write the topic of the text in a circle in the middle of the board or chart paper.

    • Proceed with steps 1-5 as described in vocabulary development.

 
Post-Reading Activity
  • Emphasize the main ideas in the text by reviewing and discussing the semantic map.

  • Students add new information that they learned when reading the text.

  • Students write the new information in the appropriate categories or add new ones, if necessary.