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Use Semantic Mapping and Visualizing to Support Struggling Readers

Use technology tools to help your struggling readers comprehend what they read.


Many students, especially those who struggle and have disabilities, demonstrate strengths in their visual skills. Two evidence-based reading comprehension strategies draw on these strengths: semantic mapping and visualizing. In semantic mapping, students use tools to create visual maps representing connections between word meanings, concepts, and/or content. In visualizing, they create images with words, drawings, graphics, and/or drama to enhance and reveal their understanding of text.

Instructional Strategies and Tools

Help your students succeed by focusing on instructional strategies and tools for Semantic Mapping and Visualizing.

Semantic Mapping

TIP: When planning to use this strategy, consider the variability of the learners and how differentiated instruction and technology can support them in understanding and creating maps displaying word relationships.


TIP: Skilled readers go beyond the words on a page to picture characters, places, descriptions, and processes. Using technology tools, in combination with evidence-based teaching practices, can help your students learn how to visualize as they read to comprehend text.

Classroom Examples

See these strategies in action with our example lessons:

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