Many of my Composition students have said that they have the most problems in deciding on a topic. I think that they cannot get a handle on a topic. I had them use a technique last night that I call “Try it for three minutes.” We were doing cause and effect writing. I gave them a list of topics and asked them to pick any topic that seemed somewhat interesting to them. Then I asked them to spend three minutes to complete a graphic organizer for either causes or effects. There was a bubble for the topic and then three big rectangles (one for each category) and then three smaller rectangles for each category (for the examples). If they did not like the results, they could pick another topic. Almost every student had the topic, categories and many of the examples in three minutes. They could see what they had and what they needed. They could see the connection among their ideas. They all said that they would write about the topic for which they had just completed the concept map. Sometimes students think aimlessly; a concept map focuses their thinking.
How do you use concept maps to focus your students’ learning