Word MapsRelationships between words can be illustrated through word maps. Create word maps by writing the focus word in a central circle and then asking the students to brainstorm related words. Link these brainstormed words to the focus word as in an elementary mind map. The word maps could be:
- words with similar meanings to that of the focus word;
- words from the same word family;
- words that relate to the same topic or theme;
- different meanings of the focus word.
Word maps help students to make connections between their prior knowledge and the new words. They show conceptual relationships between words. By showing these relationships students can modify their existing framework of knowledge (schema) and more effectively construct meaning when they meet the words in the text.
See Word Map Example from ESOL Online.
The phrase word map is sometimes used to describe a more detailed mapping of the meaning of one word, eg. see: