The Graphic Organizer

Beach Ball

KWL Chart



What is a graphic organizer?

A graphic organizer is a visual representation or frame used to organize information. The purpose of a graphic organizer is to help students by simplifying information and by stimulating thinking skills.

When might a graphic organizer be used? 

Graphic organizers are generally used during the Guided Reading Block as a Pre-reading/Post Reading activity. In Guided Reading, graphic organizers establish prior knowledge, activate schema, help students in making predictions, and assess students' comprehension. Graphic organizers provide a visual connection with the text and explicit guidance in note-taking and classifying information for recall. For this reason, graphic organizers are particularly effective with content area or expository text. 

Also used in the Writing Block, graphic organizers help students plan for writing. Graphic organizers provide a visual framework for details, comparisons, sequences, and interactions.

What skills are applied when using graphic organizers?

l        ORGANIZATION- Students are able to organize their own thoughts about a story, which leads to better discussion.

l        ACTIVATING PRIOR KNOWLEDGE AND REVIEWING FACTS - Students will be able to think about concepts before and after reading, making connections to the text.

l        COMPARING/CONTRASTING - Students are able to compare and contrast settings, plot, character's actions and traits, problems, morals, etc.

l        PATTERNING - Students are able to recognize patterns within stories such as repetition of plot or settings.

l        RECOGNITION OF STRUCTURE - Students are able to recognize the structure of a story such as in a circular story.

l        REREADING FOR DETAIL - Students are able to reread for details more efficiently if they have a task to do and a chart or frame on which to put it.

l        MAKING PREDICTIONS - Students are able to better predict the story's structure once they have had practice recognizing story structures.

l        PLANNING - Students are able to plan their own pieces of writing better if they become aware of structures.


Concept Web

REVISING AND CONFERENCING - Students are more focused when they revise or conference because they know what portions of the story grammar are missing.