Graphic organizers help readers create a mental picture of the text’s information. They can be used for a variety of purposes.
Graphic organizers help students organize their thoughts before writing, during writing, and after writing as a checklist. Educators can also use graphic organizers with their students for instructional purposes while reading.
Graphic organizers can also be used as a scaffold before, during, or after reading to organize thoughts or assess comprehension of various text types or structures for students with varied reading levels and/or language levels.
Adding Graphic Organizers to a Project
To add graphic organizers to a project that you are creating or editing, do the following:
- At the bottom of the project page, select the + next to Graphic Organizer Task.
- In the window that opens, enter a title and objective for the task, and select the type of graphic organizer that you want the student to work on. (See the descriptions in the next section.) Each organizer is shown as a blank template to help you choose.
- Close the window. The graphic organizer task will automatically be saved and will be added to the list of tasks in the right column. Drag the task to move it to the point in the project where you want students to do the task. (Remember: myON doesn't force students to complete the tasks in the order you've arranged them. Your students will be able to access this task through the project at any time.) In this example, we've added a Main Idea and Details task to an existing project. You can add more than one graphic organizer task to your project; simply repeat the steps above.
- Click the Save button in the top right corner of the project page to save the project. Then, choose Assign to review which students have the project assigned, or choose Edit to make further changes.
When teachers view the status of projects to determine whether students have completed them, they can see each student's submitted graphic organizer when they select the project, select the student, and select the graphic organizer task.
How Students See Graphic Organizer Tasks
Assigned students will see an overview of the project when they view all assigned projects. The graphic organizer task will be shown with the icon.
In this example of a graphic organizer task, the student is asked to create a timeline. The student will use the Start Graphic Organizer button to begin.
Once the task is complete, the graphic organizer is available to students throughout the rest of the project. Students can choose to turn it in for teacher review.
Types of Graphic Organizers
There are currently twelve graphic organizers available in myON projects for assignment:
What do I Know, what do I Want to know, and what have I Learned? A KWL chart helps students organize the research questions they still have and the previous knowledge they may need to double-check. Typical use is to fill in the K and W areas before their research. They’ll refine these and add in the L area as they do their research. Additionally, KWL charts also can help students develop habits of summarizing, questioning, predicting, questioning, inferring, and figuring out word meanings.
Describe what’s similar and what’s different between two concepts or objects. Organize the similarities and the differences before doing a compare and contrast exercise. Typical use of a Venn diagram includes two versions of the same book, two characters, or any two items that share some characteristics. The first and last sections are characteristics specific to one of the concepts or objects. The middle overlap section is where characteristics shared by both are listed.
Main Idea and Details
Put the main idea in the center box, and then surround it with details that help support or prove that main idea. Organize your thoughts around a story, or enter your research hypothesis as a main idea. This graphic organizer works great for writing both narrative and descriptive text.
Cause and Effect
Identify cause and effect relationships and use the diagram to show how one event affects another one in a process. You can record disjointed events (where one cause has one effect), multiple causes, or even a chain or cycle of events.
Use this graphic organizer to plot events along a timeline, which can help students sequence what happened when. You can use this graphic organizer for both research as well as reviewing literature.
Knowledge maps (semantic maps) often include a central topic or concept surrounded by supporting concepts and details. Use this graphic organizer to help student comprehension and organization of the main idea, the central question, or the author’s purpose. Help students visualize the relationship between words and meanings. This concept map allows you to construct and convey complex information, and as you build the map, you can gain an increased understanding of the topic. Students concentrate on the relationship between items and prioritize the items.
Place the character’s name in the center box, then add information to help you understand the character and motivations in the outlying boxes. You can use the four boxes on the sides to discuss character behavior, personality, feelings, events that shaped the character, what the character says/does, or even how the character looks. A character map can help students to gain perspective on why characters behave the way they do in the story and to make connections with other characters within the same text or across texts.
Make a Prediction
We use the text clues and our background knowledge to predict what will happen next in a story or what we will learn later in a text. Making predictions provides us with motivation and purpose for reading. This graphic organizer helps students organize clues from the story and add their own life experiences to predict what a character will do, or how a story will unfold. How will the key problems in the story be solved? Use the Make a Prediction graphic organizer to write the prediction and what evidence in the text supports that prediction.
The Five Ws
Fill in each row with details that answer the question. There’s one row each for what happened, who was there, why did it happen, when did it happen, and where did it happen. This is a great way for students to organize thoughts around historic events, scientific discoveries, and story structures.
Visualize relationships between words and their potential meanings. Use this graphic organizer to list the word, and then add in a definition, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences that use the word. Students will build their vocabulary and understanding of specific target words, and they will make connections and remember new words. Generating examples helps new words and terms become memorable and more concrete for students.
Think, Pair, and Share
Have students individually think about a question regarding a concept or character. They’ll put their individual thoughts in the top section (what I thought). Then, they’ll pair with a partner and document what their partner thought in the second section. Finally, they’ll use the third section to document their conversation and revised understanding (what they plan on sharing). Use this graphic organizer to have students quickly process academic language and content being learned before, during, or after reading.
Examine prior knowledge and learning through a standard KWL chart, but then add in a section for what students might Still want to know after completing their research. The fourth area is very helpful to define future research and reading.