Graphic Organizers or thinking maps are structured, visual representations that are used to organize information and provide students with a template for capturing ideas during an activity. They allow students to discover patterns and relationships they may have otherwise missed. Graphic Organizers can be teacher- or student-created. There are a variety of templates available, and they can be used across content areas.
- Identify the classroom objective/concept to be taught.
- Identify the key relationships or ideas that should be emphasized within the concept or learning task, such as:
- Cause and effect
- Generating unique ideas for a project
- Linking background knowledge to a new concept
- Organizing ideas with supporting details
- Select an appropriate graphic organizer to support the learning. Some options include:
- Venn Diagram for compare/contrast
- Fish Bone for main idea and details
- KWL Chart for linking background knowledge
- Model and practice the use of selected graphic organizers with students.
- Provide opportunities for students to practice and utilize the graphic organizer to support their thinking during the lesson.