Today's Choice for Tomorrow's Future

Thinking Maps

Thinking Maps® are visual tools for learning, and include eight visual patterns each linked to a specific cognitive process. By linking each thinking skill to a unique and dynamic visual representation, the language of Thinking Maps becomes a tool set for supporting effective instructional practice and improving student performance. Teachers may apply Thinking Maps in all content areas and all grade levels.

The eight map types are:  

Circle Map: Define, Brainstorm, List, Identify, Tell everything they know.

Tree Map: Classify, Categorize, Sort or group, Give sufficient and related details, Convergent and divergent thinking
Bubble Map: Describe, Identify characteristics, Identify properties, Identify qualities. 
Double Bubble Map: Identify similarities and differences, Differentiate between characters or objects.
Flow Map: Sequence steps, stages or events, order information. flow
Multi-Flow Map: Causes and effects, Impacts and/or benefits, Reasons and/or results. multiflow
Brace Map: Identify the parts of a whole, Deconstruct problems, Show physical components.  Brace Map
Bridge Map: Connect related ideas and relationships, Understand analogies and metaphors.  Bridge Map


Videos: Thinking Maps in 10 Minutes or Less Series

The Thinking Maps Professional Learning Series is a collection of short videos designed to provide educators with ideas and instructional strategies to enhance teaching and learning.  Click on the links below to view the videos that are currently available. We have provided descriptions for the videos below to help you determine which video might be helpful to you or feel free to watch them all! Please feel free to share your pictures and videos using #ThinkingMapsLake and let us know how it goes @TeachXLearn.

Video #1 -Thinking Maps and Engagement Part 1 (3 minutes, 30 seconds)

Get students energized and sharing their thinking! In this short video learn two strategies called “Map, Move, Map” and “Sneak-a-Peak” to increase the talking and thinking in your classroom. These easy to implement strategies can be used across content areas and grade levels to increase engagement and encourage students to construct, defend, and present their thinking.

Video #2- Thinking Maps and Engagement Part 2 (4 minutes, 36 Seconds)

If you enjoyed Engagement: Part 1, you will want to check out Engagement: Part 2. We share two more strategies that help to get students actively engaged in creating and sharing their Thinking Maps. Learn two strategies called “Mapping and Moving” and “Thinking About ________”. Both strategies encourage movement and help to wake your students’ brains up and engage with the content.

Video #3- Creating Group Maps and Ensuring Individual Accountability (3 minutes, 40 seconds)

When students are creating Thinking Maps together as a group, how do you ensure that every student is responsible for contributing ideas? This short video provides you with two quick strategies that can help you as the teacher easily monitor the accuracy of the content and the contributions of your students.

Video #4 - Talking off the Map to Demonstrate Learning (4 minutes, 45 seconds)

In rigorous classrooms students are provided multiple opportunities to show their thinking and demonstrate learning. Utilizing Thinking Maps is a sure way to ensure this is happening in your classroom. Watch this short video to learn two important tips for structuring the way that students talk off their Thinking Maps to elaborate on their ideas and demonstrate new learning. 

Video #5 - Writing off the Map to Demonstrate Learning ( 5 minutes, 7 seconds)

In five minutes learn two tips that will help your students write off their Thinking Maps and demonstrate that they are learning at high levels. These simple tips will help your students chunk ideas in their maps and write in a more sophisticated way. Whether you are writing for a short or extended time or writing briefly during a bell ringer to review content, these tips can help to ensure that your students demonstrate that they have truly mastered the learning. 


LCS Thinking Maps Schools (School-Wide Implementation)


Alee Academy
Astatula ES
Beverly Shores ES
Clermont Elementary
Cypress Ridge ES
Eustis Heights ES
Eustis Elementary
Fruitland Park ES
Grassy Lake ES
Groveland Elementary
Leesburg Elementary
Lost Lake Elementary
Minneola Charter
Pine Ridge Elementary
Rimes Early Learning Center
Sawgrass Bay ES
Seminole Springs ES
Sorrento Elementary
Tavares Elementary
Treadway Elementary
Triangle Elementary
Umatilla Elementary
The Villages Elementary



Carver Middle
Cecil E. Gray Middle
Clermont Middle
East Ridge Middle
Eustis Middle
Mount Dora Middle
Oak Park Middle
Umatilla Middle
Windy Hill Middle


East Ridge High
Lake Minneola High
Leesburg High
South Lake High
Umatilla High