Use a concept map to show what you know about rocks.
Concept maps help you to see how objects are connected and reveal hierarchies of information. They can be particularly useful if you would like to organize information for others to understand quickly. If you’re studying rocks and fossils — for either educational or landscaping purposes — you can create a concept map to organize and display your knowledge. Does this Spark an idea?
1. Write down everything you know about rocks and fossils; this stage is called brainstorming. Use ideas from your memory instead of doing actual research at this point, the University of Delaware Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry says. Keep your phrases short, one word if possible. The school’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry suggests writing each piece of information on an adhesive note, using as many as you need.
2. Group your adhesive notes appropriately. Because you’re talking about rocks and fossils, you’ll have two separate main areas, but within those areas, divide your thoughts into subcategories where possible. In the rock stage, you might group your notes by basic rock type: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. While rocks are classified in other ways, too, you can start with these basic categories. If you can, group them in hierarchies. For instance, if phrases in one group affect the outcome of another grouping of information, then place the group that affects on top of the group it affects.
3. Lay out your concepts in logical order. At the top of your page, draw boxes on the right and left, one for rocks and one for fossils. Then write the information from your notes in small boxes on your paper. For instance, under rocks, draw three boxes and write a type of rock in each: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Under each of these you can write boxes for attributes of these types of rocks and also their subcategories. Do the same thing on the fossils side.
4. Make connections in your concept map where possible. Concept maps show hierarchies of information, but they also show that items are connected to each other. For instance, you could draw a line connecting all three rock types and write “particle size” in the box connected to that line, as rocks are further classified by particle size.
5. Identify your connections. On each line that you draw to connect concepts, write how the two are related. For instance, in your particle size box, you would write “further classified by” on the line that connects it to the three basic types of rocks.