Clusters- Strategy #8

Alyssa Stuckey

What is it?

Clusters are a spider web diagram that is drawn on a sheet of paper. There is a circle in the middle and then rays coming out of it, that have words, phrases, and key words. You may also hear this strategy called a web or a map, but it is all the same thing.

There are two types of clusters, organized and unorganized. Unorganized looks like a sun. It is most common for brainstorming for writing. Organized clusters have several rays coming from the middle circle with broader ideas and then there are smaller rays coming out of those with more narrowed ideas.

Big image
Big image

Why should you use it?

They help with visual representation of ideas for students. It helps them with brainstorming ideas and organizing them before beginning to write. They can also be viewed as an outline for students who are more visual.

ELL: This strategy works well for English Language Learners because it helps them visualize what they are learning and remember words and ideas that they are unfamiliar with.

How do you use it?

1. Select a Topic: Students will select the topic that goes in the center circle. They can have the center circle be drawn in the middle or top.

2. Design the cluster: Developing an unorganized cluster, they will brainstorm just words and phrases that relate to the topic. That is what gets written on the different rays. Developing an organized cluster students will identify several big ideas, draw the rays for the center circle for each "big idea" and then in separate smaller circles they will write the idea's name.

3. Complete the cluster: For the unorganized clusters , students will brainstorm more ideas based on the words and phrases they have already written down. To finish the organized cluster the students will write more details related to the big ideas.

When do you use it?

Clusters can be used in many literature focus units, literature circles, and thematic units. These also can be used as a way for students to learn. Clusters are a way for students to take notes while a teacher is presenting a new topic. Clusters are also a great way to help students brainstorm before they write a paper, because it helps them organize their thoughts.

Quick Facts!

- Can be used from 3-8 grade, although I would use it for younger students as well, except with more pictures instead of words.

- You can make this digital! The websites are or Kidspiration

- Really great for English Language Learners!

Common Core Standards

- Students use the writing process to develop and revise their compositions.

- Students develop a topic with facts, details, and examples.