A bubble map is a type of concept or thinking map that contains a circle surrounded by small circles connected to it by lines. Bubble maps help students identify qualities of an object and use/recognize adjectives and adjective phrases to describe objects. By creating and using bubble maps, you can improve students’ descriptive writing skills and broaden their vocabulary. Making and using a bubble map isn’t difficult. You can do one easily with paper and a pencil or pen.
1. Draw a large circle in the center of a piece of paper. For example, if you read a story about Phil, you might want to use a bubble map to describe him.
2. Write the name of the object or person you are going to describe. This can be a person’s name (Sally, Mike, Phil), the name of an animal (seahorse, dog, giraffe) or an object (table, sombrero, flower, vase). In our example, you would write Phil’s name in the center of your bubble as the subject.
3. Create bubbles–smaller ones but large enough to write in–around your center bubble. This is where you’ll write adjectives/adjective phrases to describe Phil.
4. Draw a line from the descriptive bubble to the center bubble (Phil). For example, let’s say that you know that Phil is kind and funny. Write these adjectives in separate bubbles and draw lines connecting them to the center bubble for Phil. You also know that Phil has curly, black hair. Write “curly, black haired” in one of your bubbles.
5. Select objects in your room, home or classroom and create bubble maps for practice. For example, you can describe a pet by its fur type, color, or personality; a car by its color, size or make; or a stone by its shape, physical properties, color or surface texture.