Concept Definition Mapping is an effective strategy used to identify and give examples of a lesson component's ideas, and helps students logically organize the subject(s) into categories. As we practice the standard of RI.5.3, the Concept Definition Map assists in making the relationship between my two focus individuals clear to the students. They are able to explain the content as they complete the map using information based found in their social studies textbooks.
On the Smart Board I bring up a template of the Concept Definition Map. Together, we discuss each component, then complete an example together. Their practice category today will be about the Civil War Presidents, so I choose a similar theme for the kids to practice with. The class creates concept maps of George Washington and King George III on the Smart Board (Class Sample of Concept Definition Map). These are opposing figures, and they are already familiar with them.(Commenting on the Map)
We fill out the Concept Definition Map and I return it to the Smart Board as an example, after we watch the mini biographies.
The students read about each of these Civil War Presidents in their textbook. There isn't a lot of information, so I supplement with Ducksters biographical texts Abraham Lincoln for Kids and Jefferson Davis for Kids printed from the internet.
I tell them ahead of time that they will use these notes along with their text, in the next activity. They pay careful attention to each of the presidents (Watching the Lincoln mini biography) even though they will only create a Concept Map for one (Watching Davis mini biography). My class is divided into the North and the South for the duration of our simulation, so they will concentrate on "their" president as they fill out the map.
With the class already divided into the North and the South, I pass out the Concept Definition Maps to each student. I instruct them to carefully write the name of either the United States President, Abraham Lincoln, or the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, in the Category bubble. From there, they begin working through the rest of the graphic organizer using the informational text pages (Working on Lincoln Concept Map) and facts learned in the video contained in their notes.(Working on Davis Map )
The examples of King George III and George Washington's Concept Maps are accessible on the Smart Board to guide them through the components independently, and I move around the classroom monitoring and answering questions.
Now that all of the data is organized into the maps, representatives from the North share their Abraham Lincoln (Concept Definition Maps), then representatives from the South share about Jefferson Davis. On the Smart Board I draw a Venn Diagram labled with both of the Civil War Presidents. As a class we compile the information from the various concept maps in order to compare and contrast the men (Class Comparisons using Concept Maps). Once the information stated by the students is front and center in the Venn, it's easy to draw a clear picture of these two Civil War Presidents (Class Comparisons).