BrainPOP’s Make-A-Map concept mapping tool is incredibly versatile. Here are just a few uses for the Make-A-Map tool showing you the ways you can use it in your school:

(Take this list on the go with the printable version.)

General Classroom Uses

  • Assist students in organizing information
  • Assess student learning
  • Present difficult material in a step-by-step manner
  • Introduce a new concept
  • Identify similarities and differences between ideas and concepts
  • Help students make meaningful connections between the main idea and details
  • Assist cooperative groups in defining projects and dividing job responsibilities
  • Create flow charts for behavior plans for either the classroom or a specific student
  • Identify similarities between different units
  • Identify when students don’t understand information and where the breakdown is in their comprehension
  • Add more depth in a compare/contrast lesson, for example, identifying the important variables by color-coding or other visual element, and then deciding if the variable is the same or different in the two objects of study
  • Show relationships between ideas or concepts
  • Provide a framework for note-taking
  • Create instructions for games
  • Create picture charts that students can follow if they are communication impaired
  • Help students study for a test
  • Create a classroom organization chart with associated responsibilities
  • Design a how-to or step-by-step guide for learning new software and web tools
  • Develop a course or workshop
  • Plan a WebQuest
  • Document job responsibilities
  • Plan a website, blog post, or presentation
  • Create cause/effect/solution diagrams to resolve social issues within the classroom
  • Provide a skeleton map and have students fill in the information (see image below)

skeleton maps

Content Area-Specific Uses

  • Plot summaries
  • Book design elements
  • Illustration of the digestive system
  • Procedures to follow during an emergency drill such as a fire or storm drill
  • Lab procedure explanation
  • Presentation of lab conclusions and highlighting important concepts (especially prior to completing a written explanation)
  • Local government diagram
  • Detailed processes  map (how to add polynomials etc.)
  • Storyboards for PowerPoint and Hyperstudio presentations
  • Historical cause and effect
  • Organizer that shows the English word on one side and the foreign language word equivalent on the other side with pictures as hints
  • When studying a poem: in the center concept, list the name of the poem and the connecting lines contain phrases from the poem: the subconcept explains the words in the phrase and the literary technique used such as personification
  • Cycles (recycle, weather, etc.)
  • Food chain construction
  • Map of where items are stored in desk, trapper, or locker
  • Library orientation
  • Character descriptions
  • Plot movement and how action leads to the climax
  • Math-to teach algorithms (especially division)
  • Math-problem solving (great because it is non-linear)

Among Faculty and Staff

  • Illustrate school’s goals
  • Plan for Parent-Teacher Organization
  • Explain staff responsibilities on committees
  • Illustrate instructional goals with links to testing expectations
  • Show what each grade will be teaching and how units fit into the larger picture of curriculum for the whole school
  • Show integration of different topics across the curriculum for a unit, lesson, or long-range plan
  • Personal and/or professional goals

With Students’ Families and the Community

  • Concept maps to send home to parents to help explain a unit so they can help their children study/review
  • Open House/Back to School night presentations
  • Explanations of the year’s curriculum goals