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Using Webbing to Study for a Test

Webbing is a great study strategy for some students. It is especially good for visual learners and those who need to see the "big picture" -- the ones who focus on the overall concept rather than the details that support it. A web is what it sounds like. When you are finished with it, it looks sort of like a spider’s web. The web connects related ideas to one another, and it helps some students understand that things they study in a unit are actually related.

Here’s how to do it.

Start with the major topic (for example -- Ecosystems). Write the topic in a circle in the middle of the page.

Scan through the materials your child collected -- handouts, notes, activities -- to find all the subtopics, concepts, and vocabulary she studied (for example -- populations, communities, living and nonliving factors). Write each of these in bubbles around the main topic circle.

Ask your child how the concepts relate to each other. If they see connections, connect the bubbles with lines and write on the lines to show how the subtopics are connected to the main topic or to one another. For example, populations can connect to the main topic, ecosystems. On the line, she could write "a population lives in an ecosystem."

Add details where possible. For example, nonliving factors are things like air, water, and soil. Your child can write these details and connect them with lines to nonliving factors. And, they can connect both living and nonliving factors to "ecosystem" since they are what make up an ecosystem.

By the time your child finishes the web, they have spent quite a bit of time preparing for their test. Sometimes, this is enough studying! Be sure to have them explain their web to you so you can make sure they did not leave something important out.

My students love to use webbing software when making webs. Inspiration is a great program that allows you to make a web and then convert it into an outline format.

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#2 Livia McCoy 2011-04-01 22:22
Jean, if it turns out you like this, you should really check out the Inspiration software. It is a great tool for organizing writing. We use it a lot with our visual learners.
#1 Jean Tracy, MSS 2011-03-30 16:26
This is a great idea for students, Livia. I'll use it next time I write an article or blog. I like it because I'm visual and it sounds like a fun way to organize. Thanks for sharing it.

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