I recently had an opportunity to create a concept map for a grade and subject of my choosing. Me, being a lover of all things English and Literature Arts, chose 2nd grade Language Arts. My map created an easy-to-follow diagram of books for second grade students, both boys and girls.
I had five different categories: Mysteries, Animal Characters, Boy Main Characters, Girl Main Characters, and Fantasy. I didn't want to label any category 'books for girls' or 'books for boys'. I never want one of my students to feel as if because they like books with an opposite sex main character that that is a bad thing.
With each main topic I chose two different books that fit into the specific genre that I came up with. I had a lot of fun browsing books that sounded like great reads, and that had interesting main characters. Many of these books were older books being published before my year of birth (1979), and others were newer releases. I included the book titles and authors for my students to write down and have an easy access to finding these books at the library.
Off of my fantasy main topic I had a book called Journey. This book is truly incredible. I bought it for my own children and they adore it. The great thing about Journey is that there are no words! Each student has their own journey that they create in their mind as they read. I branched off of Journey to add two more thought bubbles. In these thought bubbles I created what the book is about and why I love this book so much so that I recommend it to my students.
I loved making a concept map and can see it being used in a variety of different ways for my classroom. It isn't as easy as it looks to create. You need to have colors that will capture your students' eyes, but you don't want the colors so obnoxious that it makes it difficult to read or distracting.