Showing Evidence on Thinking Maps

I am HUGE on showing evidence when the students are writing about their reading.   I always am saying, "It is not enough just to *know* it.  You have to know WHY you know it."   I just feel that showing the reasons and knowing why they think/choose/believe something in a reading passage to be true focuses the students and helps them read between the lines, a task they are so often asked to do when taking the state test.  Thinking Maps are an excellent way for the students to really get their ideas on paper and show their thinking.

One thing I always make sure to do when using the maps is have the students include evidence in the frame of reference or outside of the entry on the map itself.  Here are some examples of how I ask my students to record their reasoning for the things they put on the maps.

Bubble Map -- when describing a character in a book, I ask the students to give evidence as to why they thought Snow White was "trusting".  Outside the bubble, they would write, "On pg 32, she takes the apple from the old woman, even though she didn't know who the woman was."

Double Bubble Map -- when comparing two different pieces of literature, the students write the evidence from the text outside the bubbles, much the same as they would on the Bubble Map.  Again, they site the page number or paraphrase something they read in the texts.

Circle Map -- the frame of reference really comes in handy on this map.  Since the kids are brainstorming ideas from a text, they can include the page numbers where the ideas came from in the frame of reference.

Multi-Flow Map -- again, outside of the box the students need to reference back to the original text for evidence.  Since Multi-Flows are so often used in non-fiction text (I tend to use them there anyway), I have the students use actual quotes from the text they are pulling from.  I don't want them to paraphrase on these.

So there you have it.  A few ways I get the students to show evidence on Thinking Maps.  I am sure there are HUNDREDS of ways this could be done.  This is just what I do.  Feel free to share your own strategy.  I am always looking to up the ante in the evidence department!

(sorry for the lack of pictures.  I go back to school tomorrow and promise to take pictures of some of the things the kids have done)


  1. I LOVE Thinking Maps! I was trained as a trainer two years ago and they have really changed my teaching :) Do you use the Thinking Maps writing program Write From The Beginning? I've seen a huge improvement in my students' writing scores since starting it last year :) Love your blog and ideas. Have a truly happy Sunday Thinking Maps buddy :)

    Lisa :)
    Made in the Shade in Second Grade

  2. I do use WFTB (actually, I am a trainer of trainers on that!) We have been doing Thinking Maps for about 10 years now and I honestly can't imagine life without them. They are just amazing!!! WFTB is awesome as well. It all is wonderful :)

  3. Congratulations! I gave you the Versatile Blogger Award! Check out my page to keep it going.

  4. I love thinking maps and wftb!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First


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