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ELECTRIC MAPS. 1 st CMC Pamplona Sept. 15 th 2004 Antonietta Lombardi Scuola elementare Bernalda (MT) Italy Alfredo Tifi , ITIS “Divini” S. Severino M (MC) Italy (spokesman) Work supported by DSCHOLA, Turin Italy. Beginnings + context.

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Electric maps l.jpg


1st CMC Pamplona Sept. 15th 2004

Antonietta Lombardi Scuola elementare Bernalda (MT) Italy

Alfredo Tifi, ITIS “Divini” S. Severino M (MC) Italy (spokesman)

Work supported by DSCHOLA, Turin Italy

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Beginnings + context

  • Electric maps were conceived “by chance”, in a fourth grade class of primary school.

  • Pupils were practised with concept mapping (paper and pen),

  • pupils were playing with self-made electric circuits and wired card quizzes…

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How children built early Electric Maps

  • drawn all node boxes of a cmap in pencil, on the front cardboard;

  • then drawn little rectangles, for subsequent making of holes, and wrote down concept labels into the nodes;

  • marked the boxes borders, pressing down with a sharp pen tip, to make a print on the identical cardboard lying behind;

  • re-drawn node boxes over the back cardboard. Connection lines were made with large aluminium strips and glued.

  • Pupils cut holes from the front cardboard, superimposed the two cardboard again, checked up that aluminium was visible behind every hole. Electric connections were interrupted in “bridge” nodes;

  • closed up the cardboards, sealed borders with glue. The “electric map” was ready to be completed.


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“Solving” Electric Maps Puzzle 2/2

  • “Electric Maps” is a powerful tool for reinforce meaningfulness of relations in two ways: first, through making “analogical” links for each related couple of concepts; second, when other mates search for link phrases and syntaxes.

  • In the last works pupils prepared electric maps leaving out some concept labels, but writing a link phrase linked to the empty node, so leaving always one of three elements of every proposition to be inferred by puzzling mates.

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Results (1/2)

Like previous concept mapping, the electric maps activity allowed us to:

  • assess the knowledge of pupils

  • highlight their cognitive processes

  • check how they master the concepts and the relative relations of hierarchical inclusion

  • testify to the integration of new knowledge in the pre-existing cognitive structure

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Results (2/2)

More than in the usual concept mapping, in the electric maps activity:

  • the pupils asked repeatedly to build the electric maps for all subject areas

  • We got a good level of interaction in the classroom groups, where children often corrected each other and decided strategies.

  • Children needed to think of pairs’ mind processes, so gaining higher levels of metacognition for themselves

  • This can be seen as a profitable self-evaluation method.

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  • We expect to pass from an educational path that was born by chance, to a similar but intentional plan.

  • We will benefit by CmapTools for design-print cloze maps (lacking of concept labels and/or connection lines and phrases)

  • We will have to apply a removable paper sheet where to draw lacking lines and write words, to make cloze cmaps reusable for other children.

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Info to: [email protected]

[email protected]


For each class, the electric maps activity has taken only four hours in two days, in the last month of the past school year.

We believe that, given proper pre-requirements, every school could practice this challenging educational proposal and innovative route to concept mapping.