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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


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

beginnings context
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…
how children built early electric maps
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.


solving electric maps puzzle 2 2
“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.
results 1 2
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
results 2 2
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.
  • 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.

Info to: lombardi53@aliceposta.it



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.