http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/e/spider-map

Spider Map Graphic Organizer in the Classroom

By Natasha Lupiani

Find this Common Core aligned resource and more like it in our Elementary School and Special Education Categories!

What is a Spider Map?


A spider map is a brainstorming or organizational tool that provides a visual framework for students to use. Sometimes, this graphic organizer is called a “concept map” or a “spider web graphic organizer”. A spider map has a main idea or topic in the center, or the body, of the diagram. Each detail or sub-topic associated with the main idea has its own leg, or branch, surrounding the main idea.


Spider Maps Help You:

Start My Free Trial


Breaking Down the Spider Map

The title in the center of the spider map is the central topic, person, or vocabulary word. The map then branches out into separate cells to show details or examples of the topic. Having the main topic in the center and the ideas surrounding it reduces the temptation to give greater importance to particular details. The legs of the spider map are all treated equally!

Start My Free Trial


Classroom Use: How Can I Use the Spider Map in My Classroom?

The spider map concept and the storyboard format are a great combination that allow for a multi-disciplinary approach. It is a true enhancement to any classroom!


ELA History Foreign Language STEM
  • 5 Ws
  • Causes of a Significant Event
  • Important Historical Figures
  • Vocabulary
  • Characteristics
  • Cultural Examples
  • Brainstorming
  • Fraction Equivalents
  • Internet Safety

The basic premise of spider mapping is to familiarize students with a topic at a basic level. Elementary students, fora example, still have narrow scope of knowledge on many topics. Using a spider map with this age group encourages a deeper, more thought-provoking exploration about something they may not know much about.

Spider maps give the students a way to record and organize their ideas. In a spider map, the details are surrounding the central topic in a branch-like format. This naturally eliminates the hierarchy that a linear outline may portray.

Start My Free Trial

Spider mapping can be used by all ages. It is most commonly used in the elementary grades, but middle school, high school, or even college students can benefit from using spider maps. They are a great way for older students to organize information. Often, students will start brainstorming and realize they know more, or less, than they originally thought.


Start My Free Trial


English Language Arts

The spider map focuses on one topic and the details related to that topic, so this graphic organizer is perfect for main idea and details, character and characteristics, theme and examples, and much more! Also use this graphic organizer for brainstorming and planning for writing.

Example Activities





Start My Free Trial

History

Since the spider map does not give priority to specific information, it is an ideal graphic organizer to show competing forces or concurrent events. A favorite spider map activity is the 5 Ws that asks the questions "who, what, where, when, and why?" on a topic or event. Students can share a wealth of information in a simple, clear fashion.


Example Activities





Start My Free Trial

Foreign Language

Learning associations or vocabulary in groups while studying a new language can greatly enhance language acquisition and reinforcement. Use a spider map to show related items for a greater understanding of the whole concept or unit. In addition, any activity that can be used for ELA can be used in more advanced foreign language literature classes.


Example Activities





Start My Free Trial

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)


Coming up with questions, researching, and testing drive many STEM projects. The spider map can assist students with note-taking, spit-balling ideas, organizing topics or materials, and presenting findings. The non-linear format is perfect for information that holds equal significance.


Example Activities





Start My Free Trial

For more ideas on how to use storyboards in your classroom, look through some of our teacher guides for activities, template storyboards, and more!

Access to Storyboard That – If you haven't already click here to start your two week free trial of our educational edition.




Applications for Special Education

Storyboard That is a fun tool for everyone in the classroom, but may be particularly useful for students on IEPs and 504 plans. Graphic organizers serve as a way to structure or guide a student's thinking. The spider map makes brainstorming easy and engaging!

Storyboard That allows the creators to incorporate pictures, colors, and text into their graphic organizers; not all students have stellar handwriting or drawing abilities. Incorporating a storyboard-style format into digital storytelling allows handwriting abilities and drawing talents to become irrelevant. All students end up with a graphic organizer they can look back on later and still be able to understand it.

Educators can use Storyboard That to create their own customized digital assignments or print-outs. Here are a few additional ideas on when to use a spider map storyboard for special education:

Start My Free Trial

For more ideas on integrating storyboards in special education, please see our other articles related to special education.



Image Attributions


Help Share Storyboard That!

Looking for More?

Check out the rest of our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans!


All Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans Ed Tech BlogElementary SchoolMiddle School ELAHigh School ELAForeign LanguageSpecial EdUS History and Social StudiesWorld History

Our Posters on ZazzleOur Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers
http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/e/spider-map
© 2017 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
Start My Free Trial
Explore Our Articles and Examples

Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class – Search for School-Safe, Creative Commons Photos! (It Even Cites for You!)
Quick Rubric – Easily Make and Share Great Looking Rubrics!
Prefer a different language?

•   (English) Spider Maps   •   (Español) Mapas de Spider   •   (Français) Cartes D'Araignée   •   (Deutsch) Spinnenkarten   •   (Italiana) Mappe Spider   •   (Nederlands) Kaarten Spider   •   (Português) Mapas de Spider   •   (עברית) עכביש מפות   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) خرائط العنكبوت   •   (हिन्दी) स्पाइडर मैप्स   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Паук Карты   •   (Dansk) Kort Spider   •   (Svenska) Kartor Spider   •   (Suomi) Spider Kartat   •   (Norsk) Spider Maps   •   (Türkçe) Örümcek Haritaları   •   (Polski) Mapy Pająka   •   (Româna) Harta Spider   •   (Ceština) Spider Maps   •   (Slovenský) Spider Mapy   •   (Magyar) Spider Maps   •   (Hrvatski) Spider Karte   •   (български) Spider Maps   •   (Lietuvos) Spider Žemėlapiai   •   (Slovenščina) Spider Maps   •   (Latvijas) Spider Kartes   •   (eesti) Spider Maps