Graphic organizers are useful in all instructional areas. Teachers use graphic organizers to determine prior student knowledge, complete writing assignments, prepare for debates, and make oral or multi-media presentations.
The strategy helps students visually process information. Students will be able to see relationships, organize information from research, problem solve, integrate critical thinking with language arts skills, apply information, and connect data and knowledge for recall.
- Organizing thought and data
- Research skills
- Analyze information
- Apply knowledge
Graphic organizers that address the teacher/student objectives (See examples located on websites listed below)
Websites: The various websites offer a range of information including printable documents, background resources, lesson plans, and staff development.
Graphic Organizer Themes
W riteDesign Online: Graphic Organizers
- Have students research predetermined information individually or in groups.
- Students or teacher then determine how information needs to be organized according to thinking processes, such as:
- compare and contrast
- cause and effect
- Depending on the student age, the student or the teacher will then select a graphic organizer that reflects the thinking process(es) being used.
- Students organize the data into graphic organizer and present findings to peers in whole class disucssion or in small groups.
This is a basic student thinking skill that is applicable to many activities.
Teachers are encouraged to use graphic organizers in planning instruction. Students should be encouraged to use graphic organizers in the completion of assignments: preparing for debates, outlining written materials, or as a guide for preparing multimedia presentations.
Graphic organizers can also be used in the prewriting phase of the writing process. See the strategy on Informative Writing for more information.
Modeling for students is a key element for understanding and application.
Teacher checklist or rubric
- Reading and evaluating research materials
- Interpreting and analyzing validity of information
- Organizing written thought
Author: Ryan, Darlene