Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Teacher's Big Book of Graphic Organizers

As a visual learner, I depend on strong visual pictures to help me process information. Consequently, I have learned the value of graphic organizers. A graphic organizer is a visual learner's best friend in that it helps us organize data, remember facts, and explain concepts.  

If you have a student who learns best from reading charts and graphs, I highly recommend The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers published by Jossey-Bass. Included are 100 reproducible organizers for all subject areas.

For instance, the Carousel Brainstorm organizer helps students create a book report by filling in boxes of information. After the boxes are complete, they can take this information and easily write their final report. The report can be on the book itself or the topic discussed in the book, whether it be literature, history, science, or any other subject.

The Hypothesis Guide helps students visualize the scientific method. Students are directed step-by-step through the process from asking a question, writing down what they know, proposing a hypothesis, documenting the lab process and results, and preparing a conclusion.

The Six Column Vocabulary Organizer is a great tool to help students learn new vocabulary words. The student charts the definition, part of speech, synonym, antonym, and even draws a picture or icon to represent the word.

I love the writing organizers, which include a writer’s checklist, sensory starter (helps them add sensory details to their writing), character creator, and story map (helps with plotting). There’s also an organizer that focuses on persuasive writing.

Students of all learning styles benefit from graphic organizers because of their strong visual elements. So, whether you teach in a classroom or at home, The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers is a tool you should not do without. 

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