Using Thinking Maps in School Counseling: Careers

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Thinking maps are great tools that can be applied to all content areas including school counseling.  They assist students with thinking more in depth about a topic.  School counselors can use them in many ways to enhance the impact of classroom guidance lessons or small groups.  Today, I want to share how you can use these eight thinking maps when teaching about careers.

The eight thinking maps are the circle map, tree map, bubble map, double bubble map, flow map, multi-flow map, brace map, and bridge map.  In this post, I will show how to use each of these thinking maps when teaching students about career awareness.

The circle map is used for defining in context.  This example shows medical careers.

The bubble map is used to describe using adjectives.  This example shows the desired characteristics of a nurse.

The tree map is used for classifying or grouping.  This example shows three career areas.  Under each area are examples of jobs in those careers.

The flow map is used to show sequence and order.  This example shows the steps it might take to obtain a job.  I say might because people starting their own businesses could follow a completely different path.

The multi-flow map is used to show causes and effects.  This example shows what it takes to go to college and how college will in turn lead to knowledge, a degree, and a job.

The bridge map is used for seeing analogies.  This example shows that a chiropractor is a type of doctor just as a professor is a type of teacher.

You can use the double bubble map to compare and contrast two jobs.  It is similar to a Venn diagram.  The three bubbles down the center show similarities, while the bubbles on either side will only show attributes of the bubble they are connected to.

The brace map is used for analyzing whole objects and parts.  Students can chose one job, list three parts of that job, and then further analyze the three parts.

If you haven’t already used thinking maps in your school counseling program, just know they are a great tool to use in order to help students become better learners.

Be sure to check out my product in my TpT store for teaching careers to the lower grades.  It incorporates a circle map in the paper folding activity.  You can also find Careers- Go Fish! for upper grades.

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.   Do you use thinking maps in your school counseling program?


7 thoughts on “Using Thinking Maps in School Counseling: Careers

  1. This is something very useful for all ages. Helps kids to visualize steps, processes, desired outcomes.
    Love it! Thanks for sharing these-

  2. Great post! I love using thinking maps. I used multi-flow/cause and effect last year with 4th grade for decision-making. I definitely want to use them more and careers is a great way! I want them to focus on their academic behavior and their future goals.

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