I came across Textmapping several times this year


and decided to try it out as another part of teaching my middle-schooler’s how to

highlight keywords and use word banks and write her own notes from a text.

Text-mapping is an excellent technique that gives the child an overview of all the text, introduces pre-reading skills, and helps the child differentiate the text.

Basically, your child marks the textbook chapter or relevant pages which have been stuck together to form one long scroll, using highlighters to mark the scroll; they circle, underline or draw boxes around sections, headings, text, illustrations, dates and important vocabulary.

Drawing of a scroll that has been marked with highlighters and colored markers. Shows margin notes and certain key features circled, colored and otherwise marked.
  • The complete layout of a scroll gives the child an immediate overview ~ great for global learners.
  • Because of its length, the child must move along it, zoom in or out, to interact with the text ~ excellent for kinesthetic learners.
  • Marking is very physical and hands-on ~ wonderful for the tactile learner.
  • The colored markings  are very clear and everything can be seen at a glance ~ fabulous for the visual learner.
  • Scrolls and text mapping provide a better fit with the learning strengths of LD and ADD individuals ~ helps children who have learning disabilities or attention deficits.

So how did we do it?

Although I worried about the cost, I color-copied the relevant pages from our textbook and we taped them together.  I wasn’t sorry.  The colored pictures helped Miss.L “read” much of the information.  (And we used some of these illustrations in her notebook pages.)

Miss.L10 started out with a general overview and pointed out all the illustrations, pictures and main headings.

With that done, she took her highlighters and started marking out the text.

Working on the floor, which she enjoyed much more than sitting at the table, she circled the main headings in green.

Then she outlined the illustrations, photos and drawings with grey.

Next she marked the sub-headings and supporting texts with blue.

Then she  used pink and highlighted all the dates.

Finally highlighted some important key words with yellow.

It took just a few minutes.

She hopped up to get a “bird’s-eye view”.

(The book we used here is called “All About South Africa“.  It is a comprehensive reference book with loads of pictures, photographs and pages filled with interesting text. It is an excellent ‘go-to’ book for our South African curriculum “Footprints On Our Land” and the reference book covers history, geography, natural sciences, famous people, important places, trade, industries … the works!)

Did it work?


  • She could quickly find the section “Difficulties of Pioneering
  • She was able to focus on the marked area and was not distracted by anything outside the blue circled area.
  • Using a yellow highlighter she underlined the important facts in each sentence.
  • We folded up the scroll so that just her relevant page faced out and went to the table to write her notes.
  • With no fuss, she used the highlighted words, changing the word order and wrote out lovely, clear sentences!
  • She cut out and pasted the illustration on her notebooking page and was done!

I was stunned. The results were impressive!

It was fun, different, easy, simple, relevant and enjoyable!

I will definitely use this technique for the remaining section of history.

Here are my notes from the official Textmapping.org site.~ Text Mapping (my notes focus on the benefits of textmapping, and the colors used for marking non-fiction as well as fiction texts)

(As you can see in this post, this method is not the same as Mind mapping.)

Have you used Textmapping?  Please share your experiences with the readers in the comments.


11 thoughts on “Textmapping

  1. Pingback: Practical Tip ~ Textmapping | Practical Pages

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  3. Love it!! You made it SO clear for me… the official site is a little bit confusing. Textmapping will be great to use with my English Language Learners. Thanks!


  4. Pingback: Textmapping | My Reading Corner

  5. I have an LD/ADD child and this is definitely something to look into for him. He is very visual and kinetic in his learning. I stumbled across this post as I was looking at your parable lapbook. Thank you!


    • @Denise, because this is a pre-reading activity,a young child could easily identify and map out text, but I think this is more suited to children who can already read and are ready to find information in text. Also,because we so seldom use textbooks in our Charlotte Mason approach, we have not needed to textmap, but rather narrate living books. I find it works well with my 10-year-old and junior high child and up. I hope other moms with more experience will add to our conversation.[smiles]


  6. I had never heard of textmapping before, but now looking over their site–wow, will this help. I have one child that struggles with reading and can already see how this can help. And as she is very tactile/kinesthetic, and yet visual, all these are helped. One idea from the website that I really like and think will help us is to copy in black and white letting the child color in the illustrations. Both my children love to color and draw, so I can see how this can help connect the dots as it were in making the illustrations relevant to the written word. Thank you for bringing up this subject. Looking forward to using textmapping a lot in the future.


    • @Rhoda, glad this post led you to a new method. I agree with your comment about printing in black and white and letting the child color in the illustrations. My youngest loves to color in too! Hope your attempt at textmapping goes well!


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