The Circle Map is used for defining things in context. This tool enables learners to generate relevant information about a topic as represented in the center circle. It is used to brainstorm ideas and for showing prior knowledge.

The inner-circle contains the item to be defined.

  • Words or phrases used to define this item are placed in the outer circle.
  • The square surrounding is for the “frame of reference” or how do you know this information, what source of influence.
  • A frame of reference can be used with any of the maps.

Circle Map Template

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How to Create a Circle Map?

  1. Draw the center circle and write into this the central idea – what it is that you want to define
  2. Draw the outer circle
  3. Between the inner and outer circles, write down everything that you know about the focus
  4. Draw a square outside the outer circle – this is called the Frame of Reference. You can put a question into the Frame – e.g. how do you know what you know?

This can test out the sources of someone’s prior knowledge. The responses to the question in the Frame of Reference are written between the outer circle and the Frame

Example: What do you know about red roses?

Red Rose Circle Map Example

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