What is text mapping?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Text mapping is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance students’ comprehension and retention of information found in content area textbooks. Developed by Dave Middlebrook in the 1990s, text mapping involves visually marking different text features in order to better understand the organization and structure of the text. By doing so, students are able to create a visual representation of the information, making it easier to navigate and process the content.

When using text mapping, students identify and highlight key elements of the text, such as headings, subheadings, keywords, and definitions. These markings serve as signposts that guide students through the text and help them locate important information quickly. By visually structuring the text in this way, students can see how different ideas and concepts are connected and organized within the overall content.

One of the benefits of text mapping is that it enables students to actively engage with the text, rather than passively reading through it. By actively marking and organizing the information, students become more aware of the main ideas, supporting details, and relationships between different concepts. This process promotes deeper understanding and aids in memory retention.

Text mapping can also be a valuable tool for students who struggle with reading comprehension or have difficulty navigating dense or complex textbooks. By visually breaking down the text and providing a clear structure, text mapping helps to simplify the information and make it more accessible.

Personal experiences can also be incorporated into the text mapping process. For example, a student may make connections between the content they are reading and their own experiences or prior knowledge. This can further enhance understanding and make the content more relatable and memorable.

Text mapping is a visual technique used to help students understand and retain information from content area textbooks. By visually marking key elements of the text and organizing the information, students can better comprehend the content, see how ideas are connected, and improve their overall retention of the material.