Semantic Web Map

  • Students of all ages
  • Narrative and expository texts
    • Vocabulary development
    • Assess/develop/activate prior knowledge
    • Motivation
    • Setting purpose for reading
    • Identifying characteristics/traits
    • Identifying similarities and differences
    • Link new concept to prior knowledge
    • Postreading—comprehension
    • Postreading–study skills

Strategy steps for vocabulary development:

  1. Write the targeted vocabulary word in a box in the middle of the board or chart paper.
  2. Students brainstorm to identify all the words they can that relate to the target word
  3. Write the words on the board.

Bees Map example

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

  • students categorize the words and label the categories;
  • teacher supplies the category labels and the students list each word under the appropriate category;
  • teacher lists the words in the appropriate groupings and the students supply the category name.

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

Bees Graphic Organizer


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.

Study skills:

The semantic mapping strategy can be used as:

  • a study skill to guide the processing of textbook material.
  • as advance organizer.
  • a model for note taking and outlining.
  • a pre-writing activity for planning and organizing a composition.