by giving the central word and asking helpful questions to direct and reach the students to other words and levels of the map. In this way the map is made generally by teacher, so, it is called a teacher-initiated map (Zaid, 1995).
The semantic map can also be a class effort, using a projector, where all students give their opinion and participate in the construction of the map. Teachers must be alert to evaluate the individual participation of every student. This kind of developing a map is the teacher-student interactive model in which the teacher and students share equally in construction process (Armbruster, Anderson, & Meyer, 1991).
Likewise, the starting point from which the map is constructed can vary depending on the expected students’ previous understanding, the difficulty and novelty of the topic and the teacher’s confidence in mastering the topic (Zaid, 1995).
The starting point for constructing a semantic map can consist of only the “focus question” (Zaid 1995:13). For example, ‘How do we measure time?’ can be given to the students as the question to answer through the construction of the semantic map. The type of focus question makes a difference in the type of semantic maps that the student builds. A question like: ‘What are plants?’ will lead to a declarative, more classificatory map than the question ‘Why do we need plants?’ Experiments show that not only the focus question, but also the root term of a semantic map has a strong influence on the quality of the resulting map (Yeselson, 2000). It is important that a question be given and not just a topic (e.g. ‘make a semantic map about plants’), since answering the question helps the students focus on their maps.
The starting point for the construction of the semantic map, also, can be a list of concepts that the teacher wants to make sure all students include in their map. The student, group of students or the whole class is expected to build a semantic map that answers the question and includes at least the concepts in the list. Experienced map constructors agree with the researchers that the most challenging and difficult aspect of constructing a semantic map is constructing the propositions; determining what linking phrases will clearly depict the relationship between concepts (Zaid, 1995). So, giving the students some of the concepts does not take them away from the difficulty in the map construction, although it may somewhat limit the creativity of the students in selecting the concepts to include. It illustrates for teacher the concepts that the students have trouble integrating into the semantic map. Those are the concepts that students have little or no understanding of them (Sinatra, 1984).
۱.۸.۱.۳. Steps of semantic mapping. According to Zaid (1995) there are three places in a lesson where semantic mapping may be used: As a pre-assignment strategy to activate students’ prior knowledge or to help the teacher in assessing the students’ readiness to do the assignment; as a strategy to allow students to record what they are learning during the assignment; and as a post-assignment strategy to allow them to integrate or synthesize what they have studied. In totality, a semantic mapping activity assists students in viewing learning from an organized versus a fragmented perspective.
Generally, steps in the creation and development of semantic mapping strategies are:
۱. Analyze the concepts and vocabularies in the text.
۲. Arrange the words in a map that depicts the interrelationships between the concepts.
۳. Add the already understood words or concepts by the students to the diagram in order to depict the relationships between what they know and the information within in the text (Canas, 2004).
As an important strategy of vocabulary instructions, semantic mapping is generalized by the teacher as follows:
۱. Writing a key word or topic related to classroom work, on a sheet of paper, the blackboard, or a transparent slide.
۲. Encouraging the students to think of as many words (related to the selected key word or topic) as they can.
۳. Guiding the students to list the words by categories.
۴. Having the students label the categories
۵. Discussing the relationships between these words (Anderson & Pearson, 1984).
۱.۸.۱.۴. Types of semantic mapping. The general framework of a semantic map includes: the concept word, two category examples, and other examples.
Generally this strategy could be found in many contexts with other names as other types which are: word mapping, concept mapping, story mapping and graphic organization.
( Word mapping is an effective method, by which learners enhance their understanding of key terms by graphically mapping them.
( Concept mapping is a way to organize information about a problem or subject which consists of nodes and labeled lines. Nodes are usually depicted with circles drawn around the term or concept. The lines between nodes show which concepts are related. According to Novak and Gowin (1984), concept maps include two key elements: concepts and propositions. A concept is “a perceived regularity in events or objects designated by an arbitrary label” (Novack, Gowin, & Johansen, 1984: 625). For example, rain is the label used for the concept of water falling out of the sky. A proposition is formed by connecting two concepts with a rational link (Lambiotte, Dansereau, Cross, & Reynolds, 1989: 342). In a concept map, the proposition “rain is a type of precipitation” would be visually linked using an arrow pointing from the concept “rain” to the concept “precipitation”. Novak and colleagues (1984) contend that networks of propositions are how concept meanings are linked.
( Story mapping is a visual representation of the logical sequences of events in a narrative text; the elements of characters, setting, major events, problem, theme and etc.
( Gaphic organizer or semantic mapping is an instructional tool used to illustrate a student or class’s prior knowledge about a topic or section of text (Heimlich & Pittleman, 1986). In this paper semantic maps and graphic organizers regarded as same in types and application and the semantic map is actually the ideal type which includes above names. The specific examples include:
( Spider Map (Graphic Organizers, online document)
Spider map used to describe a central idea: a thing (e.g. a geographic region), process (e.g. meiosis), concept (e.g. altruism), or proposition with support (e.g. experimental drugs should be available to AIDS victims). Key frame questions are: What is the central idea? What are its attributes? What are its functions?
( Series of Events Chain (Graphic Organizers, online document)
This map can be particularly useful for students who read history texts which could be used to depict the causes of a major historical event. Generally, it used to describe the stages of something (e.g. the life cycle of a primate); the steps in a linear procedure (e.g. how to neutralize an acid); a sequence of events (e.g. how feudalism led to the formation of nation states); or the goals, actions, and outcomes of a historical figure or character in a novel (e.g. the rise and fall of Napoleon). Key frame questions are: What is the object, procedure, or initiating event? What are the stages or steps? How do they lead to one another? What is the final outcome?
( Continuum Scale (Graphic Organizers, online document)
This map used for time lines showing historical events or ages (e.g. grade levels in school), degrees of something (e.g. weight), shades of meaning (e.g. the Likert scales), or ratings scales (e.g. achievement in school). Key frame questions are: What is being scaled? What are the end points?
( Compare/Contrast Matrix (Graphic Organizers, onlin
Being able to compare and contrast events, people, ideas, places, etc., is important in learning to read with understanding. It can be used when students read expository material and should compare two concepts. The parallel structure in the map is critical in how it is used. Simply listing features of one concept and then listing the features of the other concept is a common error made in comparison/contrast tasks and is likely to result in shallow levels of comprehension.
( Problem/Solution Outline (Graphic Organizers, online document)
In expository text that has a clear identifiable problem; this kind of map can facilitate comprehension to try and understand fundamental causes, and consider solutions, in the context of specific causal factors. So, it used to represent a problem, attempted solutions, and results (e.g. the national debt). Key frame questions are: What was the problem? Who had the problem? Why was it a problem? What attempts were made to solve the problem? Did those attempts succeed?
( Network Tree (Graphic Organizers, online document)
Network tree is used to show causal information (e.g. causes of poverty), a hierarchy (e.g. types of insects), or branching procedures (e.g. the circulatory system). Key frame questions are: What is the super-ordinate category? What are the subordinate categories? How are they related? How many levels are there?
( Human Interaction Outline (Graphic Organizers, online document)
This form is used to show the nature of an interaction between persons or groups (e.g. Europeans settlers and American Indians). Key frame questions are: Who are the persons or groups? What were their goals? Did they conflict or cooperate? What was the outcome for each person or group?
( Fishbone Map (Graphic Organizers, online document)
This form is used to show the causal interaction of a complex event (e.g. an election, a nuclear explosion) or complex phenomenon (e.g. learning disabilities). Key frame questions are: What are the factors that cause X? How do they interrelate? Are the factors that cause X the same as those that cause X to persist?
( Cycle (Graphic Organizers, online document)
This form is used to show how a series of events interact to produce a set of results again and again (e.g. cycles of achievement and failure or the life cycle). Key frame questions are: What are the critical events in the cycle? How are they related? In what ways are they self-reinforcing?
Another variable in graphic studies is the degree of teacher or student participation in the construction and completion of the semantic maps. Armbruster, Anderson, and Meyer (1991) tested the effectiveness of organizational frames when teachers completed the maps, when students completed them, and when students filled in blanks in a teacher constructed semantic maps.
Studies have shown semantic maps to be useful when teacher is the constructor or when student is the constructor (Deshler & Lenz, 1989). Across studies, researchers have varied the manner in which the