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Main Idea Circle Maps

circle maps

Do you use circle maps?  I really like to use circle maps with my students and they seem to really enjoy them too.  They are simple, yet seem to keep them focused on the topic they are reading for.  Click here to read my previous circle map post if you missed it.

We are right in the middle of really focusing on informational text.  I like to read a mentor text first with my classes and teach the comprehension skill.  Then they get a book that is on the same topic or similar to read and practice the same skill. 

So I read Dinosaur Dinners- it has never changed over the years, kids still love dinosaurs!

circle maps

We decided that whatever the main idea was we would place that in the center circle.  Then supporting details would be written in the outer circle.  For some reason, this circle shape seems to help them remember that we can only add to the circle if it goes with the main idea in the middle.  I have done main idea other ways, but the circle map tends to help the students the most in my experience. 

circle maps

Now it was the students' turn to put the skill into practice!  

circle maps

This book is from Reading A-Z.  These books really come in handy!

Here are some of the circle maps the students created:

circle maps

circle maps

Using circle maps for main idea and supporting details


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15 comments:

  1. Hi Lori,

    I agree with you. Dinosaurs are still a hot topic with children. I don't use circle maps, but I am definitely going to start after reading your post. Thank you so much for the ideas.

    Mona
    First Grade Schoolhouse

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  2. Lori~

    Thanks for this timely post. I've been seeing these all over the place but really didn't know what to do with them. I coulda, should woulda Googled eventually but your linked post was quite helpful. I'm giving these a try thi week. Thanks!

    Firstgradebloomabilities

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  3. That is exactly how we do main idea/details in my room too! The circle maps just lend themselves so well to this. Thank you for sharing your student samples. I love seeing what the kids are doing.

    ~Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

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  4. I have never used circle maps, but I am now anxious to try it out! I love how the kids stick to the main idea...this helps with writing, too. Thank you for sharing this!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized
    amyhowbert1@gmail.com

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  5. Great idea for using circle maps for main idea. I always end up using a tree map to show the details, but this would be a good way to start and then move into separating the ideas. I just did a big post on Thinking Maps on Friday, so this is timely! Thanks for sharing!

    Andrea
    Reading Toward the Stars

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  6. I haven't really used circle maps, but I obviously need to. Your description makes it very clear. Thank you!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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  8. The circle map is a great idea, Lori! One of the other comments mentioned writing, and it got me thinking that this would also be a great pre-writing organizer.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Linda Nelson
    Primary Inspiration

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  9. That is so true about dinos being so popular with the kids, Mona! Thank you for coming by and I hope you like using the circle maps. :)

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  10. Lisa, I hope the circle maps go well for you! I really like for the kids to use them and they seem to feel like they help them stay focused.

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  11. Stephanie, glad to hear you like circle maps too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  12. The circle maps do tend to keep them focused, Amy. Good luck with them in your class!

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  13. I read your post, Andrea, and it was great! Reminds me not to put my students in a box by deciding for them which maps will help them- let them decide after they have been taught to use them. Thank you!

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  14. I think you might like the circle maps, Tammy. Would love to hear about it if you do!

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  15. Linda, I think the circle map would work great for writing too. Thank you for coming by!

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