This web page is a collection of examples depicting how our teachers are "Thinking Maps®" in classroom instruction. Ms. Vicki Kirk recently used a day of system-wide in-service training to introduce these great new visual tools to teachers. Feel free to use the ideas below in your own learning environment!

In left photo, Ms. Sandel uses the maps at GMS with her language arts students. At right, Ms. Amos uses Thinking Maps® with her graders at EastView Elementary School.

Ms. Jacobs loves using Thinking Maps® to help her students organize their thoughts prior to a writing assignment (left - above). At right, Ms. G'Fellers integrates math skills into her Thinking Map® activity by having students create their maps using a compass.

Ms. Ford's 4th graders at Highland Year-Round used maps to learn about Tennessee state symbols (left - above). Mr. Chapman's class used maps in conjunction with their new interactive Mimio white board (right -above).

In photo above, fifth graders in Ms. Barnett's class at Highland used maps to learn about energy. Ms. Metcalf's art students at Highland described themselves using pictures inside circle maps.

Thinking maps came in handy when the first graders wrote their stories about polar bears in Diane Stearns’ (Tusculum View Elementary School) classroom.  They used the circle map for ideas and words that helped in developing their stories.  Once the rough draft was written, the published their stories to Word Pad, experimenting with colorful text and their own artwork. See illustrations below:


Students in Terri Lawson’s third grade have been using tree maps to categorize forms of measurement in both metric and customary units.  Students were asked to help form a tree map titled “Length,” in which they formed two subcategories labeled  “metric” and “customary.”  Students then continued their tree maps by placing the words centimeter, meter, kilometer, inch, foot, yard, and mile under the proper headings.  Students labeled “capacity” with the same subcategories and placed the words milliliter, liter, cup, pint, quart, and gallon under the corresponding headings.  Students were able to use this tool as a handy reference guide while completing other measurement activities.  This tool will be used as a study sheet, as well as part of their upcoming test.




After a lesson about the basic structure of the United States government, students in Carolyn Ward’s class created tree maps listing the branches of government and their functions.

Stacy King has put thinking maps to use in fourth grade at Tusculum View.  The students have used a flow map to learn the process of long division in math.  Thinking maps have also been implemented in science. Students used a flow map to trace the path of blood flow through the heart.  Fourth graders think thinking maps are great!


Children in Vicky Johnson’s third grade class created a cut-away book about measurement.  They used the brace map to show how a gallon could be broken into smaller parts/units.  They used pictures to represent the number of quarts, pints, and cups that make up a gallon. In social studies, children were learning about different industries, which included service, natural resources, and manufacturing.  The tree map was used to classify 12 different industries using these three main headings.


Mandy Franklin (Hal Henard Elementary School)  uses a bubble map with her second-grade class to learn classification skills. Her class used the bubble map to describe what attributes they had in common as well as listing their differences.

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