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Thinking Maps

Thinking Maps were developed as a language for learning in 1988 by Dr David Hyerle. There are eight maps, each representing a fundamental cognitive skill such as comparing, contrasting, sequencing, and cause and effect reasoning. The maps are displayed in all classrooms as a quick reference for pupils. A software version of the Thinking Maps is also utilised in KS2 classrooms. All teachers have been trained by Kestrel Education in the use of Thinking Maps.      



Thinking Maps Thinking Processes Key Questions Key Thinking Vocubulary Example Uses

Circle Map
Defining in Context How are you defining this idea? List, Define, Brainstorm, Identify, Relate to prior knowledge.   Gathering known information in the "World Around Us" topics; brainstorming for a writing lesson.

Bubble Map
Describing How would you describe this object or person? What adjectives are most suitable? Describe, Adjective, Feelings, Use all the senses. Describing things in literacy; identifying qualities in a PDMU lesson; recording the traits of a character in a novel.

Double Bubble Map
Comparing and Contrasting What are the similarities and differences between these characters or objects? Compare, Contrast, Similarity, Difference. Comparing Characters in a reading book; finding similarities and differences in a science lesson.

Tree Map
Classifying How can this information be stored or classified? Classify, Sort, Group, Main ideas, Supporting details, Categorise, Sub category. Classifying living things in science; finding main ideas and supporting ideas in a story.

Brace Map
Part-Whole What are the parts and subparts of this whole physical object? Parts of, Take apart, Show structure. Analyse physical objects; Parts of a living thing; Boundaries in Geography; Parts of tangible objects.

Flow Map
Sequencing What happened? What is the sequence of events? What are the sub stages? Sequence, Order, Recount, Retell, What happens next, Cycles, Patterns. Plot a story; Show historical events in sequence; Steps in problem solving in maths; Identifying stages of a life cycle.

Multi-Flow Map
Cause and Effect What are the causes and effects of this event? What might happen next? Causes and effects, Discuss consequences, Predict, Describe change, Identify motives. Show and analyze cause and effect relationships.

Bridge Map
Seeing Analogies What is the analogy being used? Identify the relationship, Guess the rule, Interpret symbols.

Identify similarities between relationships.