Our students struggle to grasp concepts independently in the classroom. We need to break it down to teach it differently. Graphic organizers help us to do so.
What are graphic organizers?
Graphic organizers are tools that use visual symbols to express knowledge, concepts, thoughts, or ideas, and the relationships between them. The main purpose of a graphic organizer is to provide a visual aid to facilitate learning and instruction. They can be used to organize auditory information heard and how to respond to questions/tasks. They help our students see visually what is expected of them, what they should focus on, and breaks complex tasks down for them.
What goals can benefit from graphic organizers?
- Main Idea
- Listening for details
- Context Clues
- And more!
What does the evidence show?
There is plenty of evidence demonstrating the benefits of using graphic organizers. One such study recommended the use of graphic organizers for teaching expository text structures with students to improve reading comprehension. A popular strategy to help students understand expository texts is to teach the various types of text structures: cause-and-effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution, etc. When students know the underlying organization of the information will help them create a working model of it in their minds, resulting in a better understanding and ability to recall. (Pyle et al., 2017).
Things to consider:
- Students need to learn HOW to use graphic organizers
- Students need to learn which graphic organizer should be used with each type of text
- Students need to learn the different types of texts
- Students need tons of practice
- It helps to share with teachers the graphic organizers you are using with your students so they can carryover skill in their classrooms
How can you teach text structures?
- Make sure students comprehend each type individually
- Have them recognize key words in questions that may help them know what is expected of them
- By comprehending what the gist of the text is about can help them predict the type of text structures.
- Make it visual!
- Provide tons of practice! See below how I use my “What Is the Text Structure Toolbox QR Code Fun” activity!
How can you teach how to use a graphic organizer?
- Practice practice practice!
- You can practice using it without a text. You can use pictures, personal narratives, or fake scenarios.
- Model how to complete them.
- Fill in some and have them finish it using models.
- You can use my graphic organizers for SLPs resource to help you since I included practice pages!
Students still struggling to comprehend how to use graphic organizers?
You can help your students by providing them with the answers for them to sort to complete it. I provided this opportunity in my Venn Diagram Practice resource and my Compare/Contrast Stories resource!
Organization of Graphic Organizers Tips and Tricks
- Keep copies ready to go with your task cards or activities
- You can display commonly used graphic organizers easily in your therapy room using magnetic folders. Grab this free graphic organizer HERE!
- Learn more about the magnetic folder I used to store my graphic organizers by clicking HERE!
Want more resources with graphic organizers already included?