Using a Word Web

A Convenient Graphic Organizer


  • Can find web diagrams of this nature that are about 1000 years of age
  • Been around for a long time

General Structure

  • Often referred to as Semantic maps or Starburst maps

  • Usually start in the middle of the page with the key idea

  • Branching ideas come off the key idea with connecting ideas

  • Hierarchical structure

  • Range from simple brainstorming structures to more complex inductively concept maps

  • Least complex of the webbing process


  • To find out what students know about a topic prior to a lesson or to summarize their findings

  • Helps to classify ideas and determine a hierarchy

  • As well helps to connect ideas together

  • Creating word webs can be done as a whole-class, small-group, or individual activity


  • Spontaneous
  • Easy to learn visual tool
  • Good for thought expansion
  • Links multiple genres and issues
  • Promotes *"System Thinking" through visual linkages
  • Prioritizes further analysis and corrective actions


  • Can be very crowded and somewhat disorganized
  • Not the best for sequential thought
  • Not very linear and sequential (which could be positive as well)

System Thinking

System thinking is a method of critical thinking in which you analyze the relationships between the system's parts in order to understand a situation for better decision-making.

(Systems Thinking in Management: Definition, Theory & Model. (n.d.))

Steps to Creating a Word Web

  1. Place key idea in the middle of the page
  2. Brainstorm ideas related to the topic
  3. Classify those ideas to find major themes
  4. Place major themes coming off the key idea in the middle
  5. Place ideas related to the themes extending from those branches
  6. Use colour and images to make you web easier to read and more organized

Basic Format

Big image


Bennett, B. (2011). Graphic intelligence. Ajax, Ont.: Bookation Inc.

National Education Association. (2012, January 12). Word webs. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from