Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding 9. Weather's Impact on Climate (Day 2) - Section 3: Explain


Informational Concept Map

An informational concept map gives students a visual representation of concepts and key ideas presented in a lesson. In addition, this kind of graphic organizer helps students recognize relationships between concepts, making it an effective way to apply thinking and further develop understanding. It provides students with structured note taking, particularly in relating ideas to one another. With a standard concept map, main ideas are typically encased in a shape of some kind like a circle or rectangle, and arrows are used to connect these ideas to other ones. It becomes a network of concepts and their relationships.  Using an informational concept graphic organizer helps students organize information in a more concrete way which helps them retain and comprehend important ideas and concepts. It provides students with a structured note taking system as they develop an understanding on that topic.

When I implement this kind of graphic organizer, any new strategy, or learning tool, I find modeling in conjunction with a think aloud nourishes effective instruction.  I guide students throughout its use many times with the expectation for it to be used independently at some point. It is an effective graphic for students my special education students, English language learners, and visual learners to easily analyze concept relationships and connections. They can develop a deeper understanding of the content as they select information that is topic specific and right to the point.  What I like about a concept graphic organizer is that it can modified suit needs of students and/or adapted to the essential ideas of a certain area of a lesson

In this lesson, I used the concept graphic organizer to breakdown concepts related to climate by using a power point to lead a discussion in defining climate. As a class, we continued identifying factors other than weather that contribute to classifying climate areas.  I guided my students through the discussion with questions and images like a globe displaying latitude lines and the sun’s rays, a map illustrating various water currents, a scale to show elevation of land.  I found it took the complex concept about climate and simplified it into a more comprehensible one.


  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Concept Map Graphic Organizer
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9. Weather's Impact on Climate (Day 2)

Unit 1: Weather
Lesson 9 of 9

Objective: SWBT differentiate between weather and climate by identifying factors that determine climate in an area.

Big Idea: Students will use the climate zone data they analyzed yesterday to create a travel advertisement about a particular climate zone.

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