Friday, May 2, 2014

Creating Concept Maps using Google Drawings

Sixth grade students in Mrs. Conrad's science class at the William Davies Middle School are using Google Apps for Education and were assigned to create a food chain/web for their class.  Basically, they needed to create a graphic organizer or a concept map of their ecosystem.  

At first, I looked into an app called MindMap.  I found this application to be a bit cumbersome and I did not recommend using it for this assignment.  The next app I looked into was LucidChart, which is a great tool and I used it before, but again, not for this assignment.  The last app I looked into was Google Drawings.

I created a food chain/web template for them using Google Drawings.  The students already researched their information and saved it in a Google Document.  A few tasks they had to do was insert the images, text and shapes into the template. The were able to successfully navigate the application, however, we did have an issue with the size of the canvas. We found that you were not able to adjust the size of the canvas, or go to another 'page' in the drawings.  The students noticed a shaded area at the bottom right corner of the canvas, which can be adjusted by dragging, but it was limited and did not make a significant difference on the size of the canvas.  

The students were able to showcase the following technology skills:
  • Make a copy of the template
  • Insert/Edit Word Art
  • Insert/Edit Text Boxes
  • Insert/Delete Images
  • Insert Shapes and Lines
  • Troubleshoot the canvas size
Here is a picture of a sample of a food chain/web in progress.

Here is a picture of a completed food chain.


  1. I also use Lucidchart when looking for info on What is a Concept Map?. I find the site very helpful and easy to use! I would recommend it to all!

  2. You can also use these Concept Mapping Templates to get started with yours. They are free to be used