Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are effective tools for helping EL students organize the information they are learning and their own thinking on a topic.

Using graphic organizers in the classroom can help EL's to understand abstract thinking by presenting material in a more concrete form. Students also use graphic organizers to store and recall information that has already been learned, and understand how concepts are related to each other.

Graphic organizers can be utilized in any subject and grade level and come in multiple forms that allow for a variety of student uses.

In the clip below Ani uses a graphic organizer and asks students to fill in various parts, based on their ideas of events in the story. Here, she promotes students to think about ?wonderings? related to the story. Watch as she elicits comments from students and fills in the graphic organizer with them.

Next, Ani identifies challenging words and writes those and their corresponding page numbers in the graphic organizer. This strategy allows English learners to preview vocabulary that will appear in the story, so they have a better understanding of its meaning when encountered.

Ani later assigns each group target words and asks group members to act out the words for the class. This strategy is very effective for English learners as it allows the opportunity to see the word in action, not just read it in print or hear it spoken.

Good to know! Graphic see information as a component of systems rather than isolated facts. There are a variety of ways to use graphic organizers, including the following: semantic word map, story chart, Venn diagram, spider map, network tree, word map, and KWL chart.