Introduction to the Double Bubble Map

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SWBAT describe the purpose of a double bubble map and use it to compare and contrast 2 different objects.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the double bubble map. They will use the double bubble map to compare and contrast a golf ball and a tennis ball.

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

I love using Thinking Maps because they're research based, and I know how much they positively affect student achievement.  Thinking Maps are a series of 8 maps that can be used in any subject area or grade level.  I also like to read research about the instructional methods I use in my classroom.  Here is a great article Thinking Maps Article about how Thinking Maps affect achievement in the classroom.

Today we are going to be learning how to use a Double Bubble Map. A Double Bubble Map is always used for comparing and contrasting.  It's important that my class learns how to use this map early on because I have several units later in the year that we're going to be doing where we will compare and contrast two different stories.  I want them to be comfortable with the tool before we start using rigorous content with the tool.  The Double Bubble map will be the tool we use to organize our thinking before we respond to rigorous texts and answer high level comprehension questions.

When I introduce this map, my students will be comparing and contrasting golf balls and tennis balls - simple and concrete so that they are not overwhelmed learning a new tool at the same time as engaging in the high level skill of comparing/contrasting.  Again, in later lessons, once they know how to use the map, we will dive in to different pieces of literature where they will compare and contrast.  So just by comparing and contrasting, students are being introduced to standard RL1.9.

For this activity you want to make a class set of copies of the double bubble map Student Copy Double Bubble.  If you have a color copy machine at school, copy them in color.  Then the students will be able to track by color when completing the activity.  You'll also want to pull up the Double Bubble Map on either the Smartboard Introducing Thinking Maps or Activboard Introducing Thinking Maps lesson.

You also want to get some tennis balls and white golf balls.  I decided to have my students work with their table mates for this lesson. I have 5 student tables in my classroom, so for this activity I needed 5 tennis balls and 5 golf balls. You  of course will choose how you are going to group your students and decide how many balls you will need based on the number of student groups you  would like to have.

I've created a list of questions in which to work from so the flow of the lesson runs smoothly and I know which bubbles my students need to record their information in. You will want to print these questions out for your reference as well Questions to Ask For Comparing and Contrasting Lesson..

Introduction/Explanation Section

10 minutes

I had my students stay at their tables today because we were going to have some hands on experiences today in the lesson and I wanted to give my students the opportunity to talk about what they saw with their tablemates.  I said, "Today we are goint to learn another map.  Today's map is called the Double Bubble map.  We always use a Double Bubble Map to compare and contrast.  Does anyone know what compare and contrast mean?" I gave them some time and I wanted to see if anyone knew, but no one did. I continued and said, "When we compare we talk about how two things are the same.  When we contrast we talk about how two things are different."  

I turned my attention to the Double Bubble Map on the Smartboard.  I said, "Let's look  at this map.  Do you see how these blue bubbles on the inside are connected to the larger black circles here?  We will record how our two things are the same in these bubbles because these bubbles are connected to both outside circles. "

Then I showed my students how we would contrast using the map.  I said, "Let's look at the outside bubbles.  Our bubbles are red, green, purple, and pink.  When we talk about how our two things are different we always match the colors together, so green goes with green, red goes with red and so on. I will show you more about this as we work together in just a bit."

I went on to say, "Now, we're going to compare a golf ball and a tennis ball.  You're going to get to have some hands on experience with the golf ball and tennis ball, and you're also going to the opportunity to talk to your table mates about what you see, so let's get started."

Guided Practice (We Do)

30 minutes

I passed out the student copies of the double bubble  maps to each of my students.  Then I  passed out a tennis ball and a golf ball to each group of students.  I said, "Set the balls in the center of the table so there is no fighting among yourselves."

I started off with our contrasting points.  It doesn't really matter what order you go in, just as long as green corresponds with green, pink with pink, etc.  I'm going in a certain order for the purposes of this lesson but you can choose the order you want.

I started off by saying, "Today we are going to talk about how the tennis and golf ball are alike and different.  The first thing we need to do on our double map is to write the name of these two objects.  I am going to write tennis ball in the black circle on the left and I am going to write golf ball in the black circle on the right.  Now you do that on your double bubble maps."

Then I said, "Let's talk about the size of each of the balls.  Who can tell me about them?" That's right.  The tennis ball is large, and the golf ball is small.  Let's record that. Let's look at the tennis ball side of our map.  In the green circle let's write large.  Now let's go to the golf ball side of the map.  In the green circle let's write small." 

"Now let's talk about the color of each of the balls.  Who can tell me about that?  That's right.  The tennis ball is green and the golf ball is white.  Let's record that.  Look at the tennis ball side of the map on the left.  Let's write green in the red bubble.  Now let's go to the golf ball side of our map.  Let's write white in the red bubble."

I continued asking the contrasting questions that I had written down for me to refer to.  We finished filling out the pink and purple bubbles on the map together as a class.

Then I said to the class, "Now that we are done contrasting, let's do some comparing.  Let's talk about how these two balls are the same.  Who can tell me what happens to each of the balls if you try to bounce them?" I had each of the students take a turn bouncing the ball . You of course can determine how this will work in your classroom.  Then I said," That's right.  Both of the balls bounced, didn't they.  Let's record this in the top blue bubble in the middle."

Then I asked the remaining two questions about the shape of each ball and if they both roll from my reference sheet.  We recorded our information as a class in the remaining center two blue bubbles on the map.  You can see a student example of how are map came out here Double Bubble 1.

*You will notice that there is no independent practice in this lesson.  Because this lesson was taught at the beginning of the year, which means students need more teacher-support and there are frequently unexpected time constraints that pop up, I didn't include an independent practice section. You could easily add one in by either allowing students to do the comparing portion on their own or with a partner or by giving students another set of objects to compare and contrast for 20 minutes on their own once they had practiced with the golf ball and tennis ball in this section.


5 minutes

I used the closure of the lesson to reinforce what a double bubble map is used for.  I said, "Who can tell me what we did today? What do we use a double bubble map for? Who can tell me one way that the tennis ball and golf ball are alike? How are they different? "  I had the students recap the learning we just did.  Then I said, "We are going to be using a lot of double bubble maps this year.  We are going to compare and contrast characters in our stories this year, so we will definitely see this map again. "

If after completing this lesson you want to use more Thinking Maps in your lessons I have some resources for you here.  I've created a video that shows you how you can easily modify and save the different maps from the Smartboard software so you don't have to recreate the maps when creating new Smartboard lessons.  Here are some tips for this How to Save and Modify the Thinking Maps.  I also have some Power point here Examples of Thinking Maps and here Double Bubble MapExamples that shows you how you can incorporate using these maps into all areas of your curriculum.  I also have a pdf that shows you how you can utilize Thinking Maps in reader response activities Reader Response With Thinking Maps.