Concept Definition Mapping

Suggested Grades



Students will focus on the key components of a word and will be encouraged to combine what they already know with what they just learned to the word’s definition. This is a good strategy to use when teaching vocabulary.


  • Photocopy, or have students draw, the following structure:concept definition map
  • Have student fill it in, first by writing the word out in the middle box.
    • Word? Cumulus
    • What is it? a cloud
    • What is it like? heaping, flat base, puffy, castle-like tops
    • What are some examples? Cucumber Clouds, Cotton Ball Clouds, Alligator Clouds
  • After completing the page, ask students to design their own definition based on all of the information written out.
    eg: A cumulus is a type of cloud that may be flat based, puffy, heaping, and/or have castle-like tops. Some examples of cumulus are Cucumber Clouds, Cotton Ball Clouds, and Alligator Clouds.