Did you know that using graphic organizers for reading comprehension is one of the most effective teaching strategies? It’s true! Graphic organizers help students move from an abstract to a concrete understanding of content. They get students to “see” the text structure used by the author, which helps them recognize that structure when reading other texts. Scores in my class skyrocketed when I taught my students how to use graphic organizers while they were reading!
Using Graphic Organizers Effectively
I know what you’re thinking – you’re tired of hearing about graphic organizers! However, there’s no getting around the fact that graphic organizers are one of the most effective strategies for teaching reading comprehension. The key is using them effectively. Students tend to fill in each space just to say “I’m finished”! Wouldn’t it be better if they understood the organizer is a tool that shows what they know about the text?
Here are a few ideas to get the most out of your graphic organizers:
Model Using the Graphic Organizer for Reading Comprehension
This may seem like common sense, but students don’t know what we don’t teach them! It is highly unlikely you are going to have a class of students ready to fill out graphic organizers the way they should. In order for your students to be successful, go through the process with them! Pick a short text to read and work on adding content to the graphic organizer as a class.
Keep It Simple!
When students are first learning about content, visual clutter is distracting. The graphic organizers available below are purposefully simple and focused on one skill or strategy. They are perfect for students who are just starting out learning about text structure, or working on using graphic organizers independently for the first time.
Hold Your Students Accountable
It can be tempting to throw a check at the top of the page when you see a completed graphic organizer. Here’s the thing: you are going to want to take the time to read your students’ work carefully to see if they understood the skill/strategy the graphic organizer covered. Once your students know you are keeping a close eye on their output, they will take their time and fill out the organizer thoughfully!
18 Graphic Organizers – For Free!
Ready to try using graphic organizers as a reading comprehension tool? Use this free set of organizers with any book, fiction or nonfiction! Click this link and fill out the info to get them sent straight to your inbox.
Marianna, Creatively Comprehensive