Are you utilizing graphic organizers during your reading block? These free printable graphic organizers will go a long way in helping your students conduct amazing reading responses!
Graphic organizers have been around forever BECAUSE THEY WORK! In fact, as far as high-yield teaching strategies go they are right at the top of the pack. However, you can’t just stick a graphic organizer in front of your students and expect them to fill it out the way you want. It is very important that students understand both the PURPOSE of graphic organizers and how using it will help them comprehend text better!
What Is a Graphic Organizer?
A graphic organizer is a visual representation of information. Graphic organizers are often used to help students learn new material by having them arrange information in a way that makes sense to them. There are many different types of graphic organizers, including Venn diagrams, timelines, and cause-and-effect charts. Graphic organizers are effective for both fiction and nonfiction texts!
Using Graphic Organizers in Reading Instruction
You are always going to want to start by introducing a new graphic organizer whole group. So, for example, if you are currently working on fairy tales, you may use a Story Elements graphic organizer to keep track of the various characters, settings, and plot points. Explain the different elements of the graphic organizer to the students before you begin reading. Then, model how to read the story while stopping to jot information in the graphic organizer. It’s important to stress to the students that the organizer exists to assist their understanding, so what they write down needs to make sense to them!
After you have used a graphic organizer with your whole group, you may have some students ready to use it independently while reading their choice books. Others will need additional assistance in small groups before they are ready to go off on their own.
Using Graphic Organizers Successfully
In order for graphic organizers to work their magic, students have to use them as a tool for comprehension, not just a piece of paper they fill out for a grade. With that in mind, get your students in the habit of USING the information they write down in different ways. For example, perhaps they can use their graphic organizer to assist them on a comprehension quiz. Or, they can take the information they wrote down and turn it into a short written summary. Another idea would be to pair up students and have them compare the notes they took down. There are endless ways to use graphic organizers in your reading block!
FREE Printable Graphic Organizers
You can download a set of free graphic organizers for both informational and literary text (that can be used with any book!) by clicking here. These graphic organizers provide the perfect amount of scaffolding as you introduce various reading skills and strategies. Each organizer is simply designed, so that students can truly focus on the particular strategy or skill they are working on. Use for whole group instruction, small group reinforcement, centers, homework, intervention groups, and much more!
What’s your favorite way to use graphic organizers?