Using graphic organizers in the classroom can help students to organize their writing ideas, reading content, vocabulary, etc. They
are a great tool for the teacher and student to use, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Bright Hub website has many articles with lessons on how to use them.
Graphic Organizer Basics
Tracey Hall and Nicole Strangman in the "Graphic Organizer" article on the National Center on Accessible Instructional Material website reported that in order for graphic organizers to be an effective learning tool in the classroom, the teacher needs to be able to instruct students on how to use them properly. Teachers need to give explicit instructions and model how to use them.
For advice on how to use graphic organizers successfully in the classroom, teachers can check out the following articles.
- What Makes a Graphic Organizer: describes the concept, benefits and components of graphic organizers.
- Styles and Uses of Graphic Organizers in Teaching: explains the simple and complex styles and purposes of graphic organizers. The graphic organizers discussed in this article include the following types: organization, reading, vocabulary and content. There are examples of how to use a news writing graphic organizer and a villanelle poem graphic organizer.
- Effectively Using Graphic Organizers: shows that to use graphic organizers effectively in the classroom, a teacher can use them as study aids, or a prewriting strategy for comparing and contrasting and for summarizing.
Writing Graphic Organizers
Writing graphic organizers can help students to organize their thoughts and ideas for stories, essays, poems, journals, etc. These organizers can help students to take these ideas and thoughts and turn them into an organized list or group of ideas that can be turned into a strong writing piece.
For essays, they can help students to organize descriptive, illustration, cause and effect, problem/solution, argument, etc. The following Bright Hub articles will help teachers and students with writing graphic organizers:
- Teach Using Writing Graphic Organizers: helps teachers to show students how to start writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper. This article includes how to use a topic graphic organizer, idea generator, story graphic organizer and plot chart organizer in the classroom. There are pictorial examples of the onion graphic organizers, cluster graphic organizer and plot chart graphic organizer.
- Writing Tip: Graphic Organizers for Essay Writing: shows students how to use a graphic organizer. It also explains to the student some types: outline, compare and contract map, and persuasion map.
- Sharing Printable Graphic Organizers: explains how to teach students how to use the Venn diagram, five paragraph essay graphic organizer and the PowerPoint slide organizer. All three graphic organizers are free downloads.
- Ready, Set, Write: Teaching Strategies for Fourth Grade Writing: shows teachers how to use graphic organizers with fourth graders. Examples of graphic organizers are the sandwich graphic organizer and circle clusters. This article also offers rubrics and checklists for writing.
Reading Graphic Organizers
Reading graphic organizers help students to keep reading elements organized. It can help students to summarize what they read or help them to comprehend what they read. The following Bright Hub articles will help your students with their reading:
- Activities for Story Maps and Graphic Organizers: explains how to use the story map graphic organizer as an individual, partner or group activity in the classroom.
- Reading Activities for Problem and Solution With Graphic Organizers: shows how to use graphic organizers with problem solving in the fourth grade. There are directions on how to teach problem and solution five ways.
- Using Summary Graphic Organizers: Visually Summarizing a Text: shows students how to sequence order of events with a graphic organizer, to use a story map organizer, to complete a reverse pyramid organizer, and to use a cause and effect organizer.
- Write While You Read: Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension: explains to students that graphic organizers are just fancy names for helpful tools and tells students how to use them to take great notes when reading and to study.
The Right Tool for the Right Problem Area
The following graphic organizers articles help students with different problems. Each tool can help make a difference in the classroom.
- Free Graphic Organizers: Plot Chart, Novel Elements and Research Note Taking: includes lessons and tips on how to use them. In addition, there are more links to other free graphic organizers for teachers to use in the classroom.
- Types of Graphic Organizers to Teach Vocabulary: explains how graphic organizers can help students to improve their vocabulary in the classroom. A word graphic organizer, vocabulary study cards graphic organizer and context clues graphic organizer are included as pictorial examples.
- Easy Examples of Commonly Used Graphic Organizers: shows how to use the following graphic organizers in the classroom: KWL, Venn diagram and a bubble chart.
- Types of Graphic Organizers: explains how to use the T-chart, sequence of events chain and main idea web graphic organizer
- Creating and Using the Venn Diagram: shows students how to use the two-circle and three-circle Venn diagrams.
- An Instrument Family Unit Review Incorporating a Graphic Organizer Lesson Plan: explains how to make an instrument review graphic organizer in the classroom with computers and software.
What are Rubrics?
Rubrics are a great assessment tool that can help teachers grade quickly and allow student to understand how they will be assessed clearly.
- Rubrics vs Grades: Which Provides the Most Accurate Assessment: discusses in detail the differences between rubrics and letter grades.
- A Guide to Using and Creating Rubrics: explains in detail how to create a rubric.
- Tool Trend: Using Early Childhood Rubrics: describes the importance of rubrics and how to use them with preschool age students.
Specific Types of Rubrics
The following articles share specific examples of rubrics with lessons to be used in the classroom.
- Sample Rubrics for Jigsaw Teaching: explains how to use rubrics with jigsaw teaching strategy in middle school and high school classes.
- Assessment Writing Rubric: shows a writing rubric you can use in a high school or middle school English class.
- Assess Presentation With a Ready Made Rubric: shows how to use a presentation rubric and a free download is included in the article.
- Teach, Learn, Write and Assess: Third Grade Descriptive Writing Lesson and Rubric: describes how to set up a descriptive writing rubric and additional questions for the students to use to develop writing.
- Brochure Project Made Easy With Rubric: explains how to make a brochure and an example rubric that teachers can use to assess it.
Graphic Organizers and Rubrics Make Tasks Easier
In the end, graphic organizers and rubrics are excellent tools that teachers can add to their teaching repertoire. Each can help make a task easier for students to understand. And, each can help teachers explain a task or activity with better clarity.
- Graphic Organizers as Thinking Technology from fno.org (fno – "From Now On")
- National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials