This is an excellent way to show progress across a lesson or a series of lessons, and OFSTED have said as such on two occasions that I have been inspected and my schools, whilst the research from Exeter University shows the impact they can have on students’ learning.
They do not involve the need for any resources or photocopying but are a quick an easy arrival/starter and plenary task.
How they are used: Put the topic/question in the middle circle. Students write what they know in the outer circle. You can get students to revisit every 10-15 minutes to add to their circle map with another colour, underline etc to show each time they revisit.
By the end they will have a circle map showing the ‘learning’ that has taken place throughout the lesson.
To extend any of the thinking maps, the box around the edge is for the ‘context’ so students can write down in the box how they know the information, or they can be directed to look at an issue from a specific role or viewpoint and this box can be used to put information about the role or viewpoint.
Speak to Nik in Geography for more ideas/applications/maps.