What is a Tree Map?

The Tree Map is one of eight Thinking Maps. Its purpose is to help with classifying things and ideas. In Kindergarten, particularly in the beginning of the school year, we modify it slightly to make it more comprehensible for younger children.

This particular Thinking Map helps to provide a linear path for young children in constructing sentences and is especially useful for visual learners. Young children often have great difficulty making sense of letters and words (especially when they can't read yet!) so having a 'path' that can be traced is helpful. Follow along to see how it works...

Initially, write down the topic you want to classify or discuss at the top of the board or chart paper. With Kindergartners, using colored markers is very helpful and since green indicates go, this is the color I use for the topic. Underline the topic.

Now, under this, using an orange marker or some other color but not red, write down a few verbs/linking verbs that you, as the teacher know will work to get the children to begin their brainstorm session. Underline these words.

Get a red marker out now and have children brainstorm what they can tell you about the topic. Write these under the verbs/linking verbs.

You will get a 'tree' that looks something like this (an actual diagram that was made in our class):
Now, it will be easy for the children to following along with you as you 'read' the sentences.
Begin at the top with the green. Point to the green word then an orange then a red word (or phrase), reading each as you go along. You will end up with a sentence! Write the sentence on a sentence strip or somewhere on the board. This shows how the sentence can be constructed. For children who may have difficulty with copying, you can re-write the words in the same colors onto word strips so the children can assemble them puzzle-style.

That's it! Try it...it does take time initially for the children to 'get it' but once they do, this is a powerful tool!

AR Book Find

I bet YOU have your own 'AR' books at home or have been checking some out at your own public library! 'Accelerated Reader' books are simply those that have the special quizzes to go with them. Check to see if your book book is listed under the AR Book Find. You can find the reading level and more!

Contact info

You may contact Mrs. S-S via email if you have questions: email Mrs. S-S