12 examples of concept maps and synoptic tables

In today’s article, we will not only teach you everything you need to know about concept maps and synoptic tables , but you will also find a wealth of examples to help you see and understand them in operation more easily.

What is a concept map

A concept map, or concept diagram, is a graphical mapping tool that organizes ideas and visually represents the relationships between concepts . Because the human brain processes visuals better than plain text, concept mapping facilitates a person’s ability to understand and remember information.

Characteristics of concept maps

Concept maps have specific characteristics or elements that differentiate them from other cartographic tools.

1. Nodes

The nodes represent a concept . Circles and rectangles are the most commonly used shapes for nodes and can vary in size, depending on their position or hierarchy on the concept map.

The nodes that represent general concepts are usually at the top of the map, or near the central idea, if the structure used is not hierarchical. They can be larger than the more specific nodes that follow them.

2. Cross links

Crosslinks are the lines or arrows that join one node to another . They illustrate the relationships between two concepts.

3. Linking words or phrases

These are the words or short phrases that describe the relationships between two linked concepts or nodes . They appear as cross-link labels in a concept map outline.

4. Hierarchical structure

An important feature of the concept map method is its structure, which is hierarchical . At the top of the map are the most inclusive and general concepts, while the most exclusive and specific are located below them. This is why concept maps are often read top to bottom. Some concept maps use other structural approaches, such as from the center and then spreading out, as in a spider concept map.

5. Focus question

A focus question defines the problem to be solved and provides the direction of the map . It is also used to delimit broad topics.

6. Proposition

When two or more concepts are connected by linking words, they form a meaningful statement called a proposition.

Examples of concept maps

1. Food Chain

To begin with, I am going to list a simple concept map that biology teachers will be able to use for their students. This will help them become familiar with the groups involved in the food chain and their classifications.

2. Types of texts

Another example of the use of conceptual mapping can be to determine the different types of existing texts, in this case, in the Spanish language and to explain what the function of each of them is.

3. Media

Concept maps can in turn be used for large-scale issues, such as the media. Here they will not only be differentiated according to whether they are written, visual or audiovisual, but their content, scope, among other things, will also be taken into account.

4. Mobile tools

Here we bring you another example of a concept map in which the topic “mobile tools” will be detailed and how they are used by entrepreneurs, businesses and young people.

5. Air

This time we bring you a conceptual map where we will detail what it occupies, what it has, what can be done and what the air is for.

6. Software

Another example of a concept map can be that of software, where you will find not only its definition, but also the existing types and what each one of them is for.

What is a synoptic table

Synoptic tables are used in various areas of learning, work, research, among others, which are very effective in finding a concrete and complete answer to any topic that is being addressed, as it uses the technique of decomposition of several ideas, and subtopics , so that they can be compared with each other, look for their similarities and differences, and find a logical definition or hypothesis.

It is also considered as an excellent study technique , due to the synthesis that is carried out in it, and the ease that it provides to whoever performs it to be able to organize and visualize the information, which in turn serve as instructive texts thanks to its easy-to-understand schematization and structure.

The realization of these synoptic tables can be very simple, because simply by choosing a topic, and making classifications and subdivisions of it, a really extensive structure can be created, in which different points of view can be identified, in order to create a complete theme that is really easy to understand.

Synoptic tables characteristics

The synoptic table is the equivalent of a mind map. It is not for exclusive use in the educational field, since many companies use this same method to develop their production and competitiveness policies. For this tool to be effective, it has to be based on some basic features that we will see below.

1. Main topic

It is essential to order the ideas well and correctly analyze what is intended to be explained. We have to define well the main topic , the basis of the rest of the synoptic table, clearly and concisely.

2. Subtopics

Second, it is necessary to develop the themes derived from the main theme . Do not confuse this task with the inclusion of topics that are not related to each other or that do not belong to the same hierarchical category. For example, the case that we put in the introduction of the formation of a Parliament, the subtopics would be the Deputies and the Parties, among others, but not the laws.

3. Synthesis of ideas

If the main objective of the synoptic table is the clarification of a topic or ideas, any kind of complex explanation should be avoided. The main characteristic of the painting is that it exposes the ideas clearly and briefly , avoiding entanglements.

4. Avoid confusion

This particular point is related to the previous one. The synoptic table is intended to facilitate understanding of a topic, especially if it is complex in theory. Include the essential points and clear up any hint of doubt.

5. Structural hierarchy

When we choose a text and we try to summarize, we try to organize our ideas. The synoptic table will save us this step due to its organizational nature. The order can be from top to bottom (vertical) or from left to right (horizontal) , avoiding ambiguities about the meaning that follows its structuring.

6. Support material

In short, the synoptic table is the most useful tool when it comes to emphasizing or showing any type of idea to the target audience; whether at work, at the institute or in any other area where audiovisual material is available. Therefore, it can be used to highlight main ideas that have been expressed through other means, such as speech.

Examples of summary tables

1. Mexican Revolution

The first example of a synoptic table that we bring you is referred to the Mexican Revolution. Here you will find a large amount of information such as the important people who intervened, the dates where the events happened, the events and historical places, among other things.

2. States of water

As a second example of a synoptic table we bring you one that will show us the different states of the existing water and the places where we can find each of them.

3. Study techniques

Another possible example of a synoptic table is the one referred to the study techniques that we will leave you next. Here you will not only find the different types of existing techniques, but you will also be able to observe a sub-classification of each of them.

4. Animals

As a fourth example of a synoptic table, we leave you the one referring to the animals. Here you can find out how they are classified according to their diet, their skeletal presence and their type of reproduction.

5. Metabolic processes

As before the last example of synoptic tables we have the one referred to the metabolic processes. In this they will be able to learn the existing types of metabolic processes followed by the main characteristics about each one of them.

6. Communication

Here we leave you the last example of synoptic tables of today, it is about communications and in it we will find the different existing types followed by a large number of examples so that you can identify them more easily.

Here we have come to the end of our article on synoptic tables and concept maps . If you have any questions, leave us a comment in the section established for it. We will read all your questions and try to answer them as soon as possible.

We hope it has been to your liking, see you soon !!!

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