#14: Spider Web Graphic Organizer
Purpose: The Spider Web is a type of word map or concept map. Broadly speaking, concept maps encourage analytical thinking by asking students to identify relationships between conceptual categories. The Spider Web introduces a framework to this mapping, narrowing the areas and introducing conceptual grouping.
HOW TO CREATE A SPIDER WEB:
- Write the main topic in the centre.
- Write the subtopics around the main topic.
- Write the supporting points around their subtopics.
HOW TO USE A SPIDER WEB:
A spider web concept map is a great tool for allowing students to organize information from readings in a meaningful structure. It helps them make connections between concepts in the text and identify key ideas.
- There is no single right way to create a concept map – different people or groups may visualize the text differently, which can lead to great in-class discussion.
- Concept maps are especially useful for students who are more visual learners
INDIVIDUAL READING (~5 MIN)
Read the text provided as far as you can in the time allotted. Don’t worry if you don’t finish it; you can complete the activity based on the section you have read.
PAIRED MAPPING (~10 MIN)
With a partner, fill out the spider map using the handout provided.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (~5-10 MIN)
Combine with the other pairs at your table. Compare the spider maps you all came up with, and work together to draw a consensus version on flip-chart paper.
LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (~5 MINS)
Continue your discussion in the larger group.
Tip: This activity can easily be adapted for large scale classrooms. There are some strategies that make this process easier:
- Dividing students up into groups has the potential to take a long time. Give clear instructions about the division as you don’t want them to move too much and so making a suggestion that they turn and pair with someone sitting in front or beside is a quick way to do this. Once they have their pair, distribute the readings.
- When you are changing over to the small groups (i.e. 2 pairs), instruct students to turn to someone at their table or in the near vicinity.
- You can put a stopwatch on the projector so students have access to the same timing that you are using, e.g., http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/
- If you do not have enough time for a larger group discussion about the issues, assign questions for students to answer in an online discussion board or through an assigned reflective journal due online before the next class. Once you have read student responses, you can summarize the main points in the next class.