Teaching Strategies

Structured Overviews

A structured overview is an arrangement of key words and concepts on a topic. The words are organised in a hierarchical structure, beginning with the topic heading. Lines connect the words or subtopics showing their relationship to the central idea and to each other. The conceptual map is like a tree diagram with the most general terms at the top moving down to the details or examples at the bottom.

This diagrammatic overview of the topic helps tie new information to existing knowledge. It can be used to introduce a topic, finding out what students already know and providing a framework for studying the topic. It can be added to as the learning progresses or it can be used for review at the end of a unit. It may be teacher organised, teacher and student organised or student organised. It can be used individually, in pairs or small groups.

Students using structured overviews:

Teacher organised structured overviews


Teacher and student organised structured overview

Student organised structured overview