Graphic Organizer Resources from TeachersFirst
Whether you call them concept maps, mind maps, KWLs, or graphic organizers, these visual diagrams show relationships between concepts and provide a powerful tool for learning and connecting new ideas. Creating graphic organizers also helps today's visual learners build reading comprehension. This collection of reviewed resources includes tools for creating graphic organizers and many suggestions for ways to use them in teaching almost any subject or grade. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for examples of ways to use graphic organizers as part of a lesson or unit.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomIncrease the depth of your class discussions and enhance critical thinking by first projecting on your interactive whiteboard or projector some of the suggested means to evaluate and respond to how a book or literary work relates to larger issues. Provide a direct link to this site on your class web page for students to use as a reference. Whether students are critiquing a book for a class assignment or the school newspaper, this is a practical, all-inclusive place to keep them on track and assure that they meet all the requirements and expectations for both analyzing a book and writing a review. Consider having students make their own graphic organizer of the essential parts of a review, then add their own content in each area. Make the task visual and collaborative using a tool such as Bubbl.us, reviewed here and have students provide feedback to peers on their ideas before they begin their actual drafts. Want your book reviews to shine, 21st century style? Have students create them by narrating a cover shot on a PowerPoint slide and place the file on a digital picture frame in your media center for potential readers to watch. Or upload the image to ThingLink, reviewed here, for online audio reviews.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomMake learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject. Feature one or more new study strategy each month and share this entire list as a link from your class web page for students and parents to access both in and out of school.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): brain (71)
In the ClassroomThis is a great program to use with an interactive whiteboard and projector with entire class for brainstorming a topic or concept. Ideas can be manipulated and changed as fast as they can be shared. To save time, an outline that has been started and saved as a text file can be copied and pasted into a Text 2 Mind Map. The map can be color coded by branch or level to help organize information. After the map is complete, copy and past the outline in a word-processing program. Save the map as a jpg file. The map and the outline can be used by students as a guide for writing and further research. Text 2 Mind would be a great tool for use small groups to help students organize and manage a project.
Very easy to transform text (outline or list) into a mindmap. Great for visual learners.Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on your class computer or TeachersFirst membership. Open the doors to engage students in the active reading process to enhance levels of comprehension between the text and the reader. The flexible framework lets you choose to use any of the strategies as a stand-alone, ready-to-present on the interactive whiteboard, or as a lesson for whole class viewing. Many familiar literary works are used as examples, or you may easily apply the strategy to any literary work that your class is currently reading. Videos and Power Points for modeling and practicing the strategies are embedded, so all you have to do is click to start and let them work their magic. Follow up by downloading the printable study guides, graphic organizers, and other handouts to use before, during, and after reading.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): idioms (44)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson materials and presentations. A few activities include tasks for an interactive whiteboard or projector and others provide handouts or reproducible activity pages. Be sure to save this site in your favorites, there is lots here to explore.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to help students sequence, brainstorm, and organize information. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector and fill out organizers after a lesson. Print out organizers and have students use them in cooperative reading groups. Use the organizers to differentiate for students who need extra scaffolding or for students who need extension activities. As students get older and learn which study skills help them best, they will want to access this site on their own to study for tests. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites!
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): writing (367)
In the ClassroomTeachers should model the use of this tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector prior to student use. Essay Map can be placed on the desktop of a classroom computer for students to access during Writer's Workshop or throughout the school day.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to play to find the best way to create their flowchart. Learning of tools is easy with a little play. Users must decide the best use and remember to create templates for use. Users must manage the saving of flowcharts and the exporting to other formats. If using in another site, users should be able to use embed codes.
Create a new flowchart by using a blank template or one of the stored templates shown. Click the folders under "Cliparts" to find objects to place in the flowchart. The "General" folder holds boxes and arrows to get started. Drag an object to your building space. Double click on it to add text and click "Set" to place on the box. Objects will remain small, though clicking on it brings up boxes to drag to the required size. Use the right-hand side toolbar, to draw items directly in the workspace. Click on an object desired and draw that item effortlessly. Change colors and other parameters of the object with the on screen toolbox. Save the chart, save as a revision to go back to past versions, or even save as a template. Export flowcharts as PDF documents or even images. Print your flowchart easily or generate an embed code to use in a blog, wiki, or other site. Record a chart to show the process of the flowchart as it unfolds.
Consider creating a class account and have groups of students work on flowcharts for specific portions of the class work (each group could work on a different part.) Print flowcharts or download for easy sharing or flowcharts to provide simple step by step directions.
Use this resource for showing how a scientific process works, planning a how-to or step-by-step directions for a piece of writing, or documenting events leading up to a war or other historical event. Create a template to show the process of scientific review of articles or other writing types. Require students to enter their information in the sections of the template prior to actual writing of the assignment for a more effective way to plan their work. Use a scientific process flowchart to show how to use inquiry to solve a problem and learn information. Provide a flowchart of how students should learn unknown information. Even the simplest tasks become easier to follow using a graphically constructed flowchart.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the ideas presented at this site (if you are a member or not). Share certain maps or handouts on your interactive whiteboard. Use this site to teach your students more about the history of the games.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on Antarctica and the scientists living there. To highlight information, preview the site and create graphic organizers to guide students through and find the important information. For help making graphic organizers, try Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here)
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): diseases (69)
In the ClassroomAs you study diseases in general, use malaria as an example. Use the site to identify how malaria is transmitted and methods that can be used to prevent the transmission of the disease. Identify how the scientific method has been used in order to identify how a disease has been transmitted as well as treated or prevented. Compare information found about malaria to research other diseases and compare to other diseases and vectors. Students can create a conventional or multimedia project to display knowledge to others. Create graphic organizers to show the progress of the disease. Students can also create a wiki to show information or a blog for discussions with others. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Many students may feel compassion for children in other countries and seek to help in some way. Use this site for ways to help those in other countries fight this terrible disease.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomWhen studying about the various cultures in America, don't forget the rich mission cultures in the West and Southwest. Spanish teachers will appreciate this site's simplicity in teaching Mission-related Spanish words. Have cooperative learning groups investigate other missions or historical topics from the 1800s. Challenge student groups to create their own historical tale in this "choose your own adventure" style. Provide a template graphic organizer for the story options so they are able to organize it in the planning stages, then create one in PowerPoint with hyperlinks to the choices or on a class wiki using links to the places (pages) they choose.
GradesK to 12
Each content area has successful resources that you can use.
Content areas include Preparing, Learning, Studying, Learning with Others, Online Learning/Communicating, Classroom Participation, Project Management, Research, Reading Skills, Preparing for Test, Science and Technology, Math, Resources, Vocabulary/Spelling, Writing Styles, Writing Basics, and Taking Tests. There are over 100 individual topics to explore: Time Management, Avoiding Procrastination, Learning with ADHD, Effective Study Habits, Peer Mediation, Problem Based Learning, Netiquette, Public Speaking, Citing Websites, SQ3R, KWL, Overcoming Test Anxiety, Ten Tips for Terrific Test Taking, Prefixes and Root Words, Seven Stages of Writing, and countless others!
There are some basic advertisements at this site. Flash and Acrobat Reader are needed for some of the links and can be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThis site is one to save in your favorites! There is so much here, it is hard to know where to begin. The language offerings provide opportunities for ESL and ELL students to learn study skills in their native language. This site could also be used in world languages classes.
Why not highlight a "study skill" each week using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students TRY it. Most of the topics provide interactive learning or another assignment to help students practice the skill. Have students work individually or with a partner to explore the "topic of the week." These life skills are so necessary, but hard to fit into the already crammed curriculum. This site does a nice job of integrating the study skills with curriculum content. Have students create their own multimedia projects about study skills using a current unit of study from your class.
Grades4 to 6
tag(s): colonial america (108)
In the ClassroomAfter completing the webquest, have a "Play Day" and invite family members, other classes, and administration to come to the classroom and watch the plays. Video record the plays and post them to the class web page for those who could not make it to class. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here).
Be sure to list this site (and activity) on your class website. Ask parents to assist with character research at home by providing the web quest link on the class web page. Don't forget that parents may be able help with props for the plays.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to learn more about graphic organizers. Why not have your students create an online Venn diagram about a current science topic or literature unit? Use a tool such as bubbl.us(explained here).
This is an excellent resource for teachers of any elementary grade level. There are endless examples of graphic organizers that students can utilize in order to help them organize or present information. I have had a lot of experience with Inspriation, which is one of the graphic organizer programs mentioned in this resource. This program is easy to use and manipulate. Students can typically learn the basics in one session (50 minutes). I use this program often to teach reading concepts, such as main idea, comparing & contrasting, or character development. You could also use the program to show life cycles or concept development for mathematics. The great thing is that you can either create a template, where students merely insert information or students can create their own organizers depending on their levels of experience. Great resource!, , Grades: 0 - 5
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse these PowerPoints to provide background information for projects or further inquiry in class. For example, use a PowerPoint on cells to give background information. Create questions for students to answer while viewing the PowerPoint or add your own "lecture" notes while showing to a class. Remember that PowerPoint does not HAVE to be shown on a screen. Students can watch them as tutorials at a center or computer cluster. Learning support teachers will appreciate having an alternate way to present basic concepts to visual learners. Assign students a particular cell part to research more information about the part. Explore professional topics on your own or together with colleagues during inservice time.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomNo matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomClick "Start Here" to type the subject of your concept map. Hitting your Enter key creates a new level (branch) within the map. Tab creates an additional branch on the same level as the current topic. Experiment with the small icons on each "element" to change colors, drag, make new connections, etc. Save and set sharing (read-only or open access) in the area at the right. You can "send" a read-only link via email or copy the embed code from the Menu at lower right), but you cannot find the URL directly from your map. "Send" it to yourself via email to copy the actual URL.
There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. To minimize the number of maps on a free account, have students screenshot or print their results to turn them in. See more ideas in the linked example above!