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Word Webs

Description

Word webs (also known as semantic mapping) illustrate how key words or concepts are related to one another through graphic representations. Creating word webs can be done as a whole-class, small-group, or individual activity. A word web is a graphic organizer created by students to help them learn vocabulary.

Purpose

Word webs (also known as semantic mapping) illustrate how key words or concepts are related to one another through graphic representations. Creating word webs can be done as a whole-class, small-group, or individual activity. A word web is a graphic organizer created by students to help them learn vocabulary.

How to Use Word Webs

  1. Begin with a topic. This strategy works well topics in expository texts.
  2. Students free-associate words, terms, or phrases they associate with the word. The teacher writes these on board in the order in which they are shared next to the targeted word. This is done until students run out of ideas.
  3. Students categorize associations and label the categories. This can be done as a class, in small groups or pairs, or individually.
  4. .  When are familiar with the strategy, they can produce their own maps for the word and their newly developed categories.
  5. As a class, students present and explain their maps.
  6. When using this as a before reading activity, have students add to the categories after reading.

Example

Following is an example of a word map that a student or student group might create when preparing to read a text in which “meteorology” is a key concept. “Meteorology,” is at the center of the map to indicate that it is the concept about which associations were made. The words and phrases that are not in the boxes are the brainstormed associations. And, the words in the boxes are the categories that the student or student group might identify to organize the associations.

Word Web

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