what are thinking maps

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what are thinking maps

Question:How do you engage a classroom of ELL learners in a literacy activity when they are still struggling with language acquisition?

Answer:Thinking Maps!

How do thinking maps help ELL students?Thinking Maps are a useful tool for ELL students because they are non-linguistic representations of thought processes. Even if an ELL student is struggling with language acquisition, they can participate in English literacy activities through the use of Thinking Maps. Thinking Maps allow for a reduction in cognitive load for the ELL students: they can non-linguistically participate in a literacy activity and build literacy skills through this activity.

What are thinking maps?Thinking Maps are a way of representing thoughts and ideas in a non-linguistic way. They are similar to graphic organizers in this representation, but they also differ in that they visually represent the thinking process. Thinking Maps bolster critical thinking skills and problem solving skills because they graphically show students what thinking skills they used to solve a particular problem.

No matter what level of language acquisition a particular ELL student is at, Thinking Maps can be a great tool to foster classroom participation and independence, as well as advance a student’s literary skills alongside their literacy skills. Thinking maps help to lessen the cognitive load that a child feels as they try to work with English and allows them to nurture their cognitive problem solving skills. Think Maps also help the ELL child gain metacognition, an important skill for any learner to tackle.

The Circle Map allows ELLs to apply learned grammatical concepts like noun, verb, adjective, etc. with their vocabulary instruction. A Bubble Map is an easy tool to help a student describe things because it only uses adjectives.A Tree Map is used for classification and organization, and can be a great tool to help an ELL student organize their thoughts. Brace Maps show whole to part relationships and are a good way to show ELL students how things are put together.

Just the Facts, ma'am!


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