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A CONCEPT Diagram is a graphic organizer that assists students in clarifying central concepts in a reading selection and in relating similar or associated information to this key idea.

The CONCEPT diagram is built on these steps:

  • Convey the central idea.
  • Offer the overall concept.
  • Note any key words.
  • Classify characteristics.
  • Explore examples (and non-examples).
  • Practice with new examples.
  • Tie down the definition.
This sequence of steps provides students with a clear process for organizing and interpreting the content of a reading selection.

Steps to a CONCEPT Diagram:

  1. Select a reading text for class discussion.

  2. Have students identify the overall theme of the document and the major subthemes or concepts that together make up the document.

  3. Ask students to write down all key words in the selection and then group these terms in logical categories. (This can be an individual or group activity.)

  4. Encourage students to suggest examples and non-examples of the key terms and concepts identified.

  5. Have the students produce a final, formal definition of key words and concepts by combining the things they learned when categorizing the words and providing examples.

Download the CONCEPT Diagram by clicking here.

Learn More:

  • Lenski, Susan D., Wham, Mary Ann, & Johns, Jerry L. (1999). Reading and learning strategies for middle and high school students. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

  • Steps to Create a Concept Diagram


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