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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWhether teaching in a classroom or online, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. To prepare students for Common Core Assessments on evidence and arguments, have them choose a popular topic, research it (with the materials provided) so they can provide evidence for their stance when writing about their opinion or to refute another's. The debate section is the perfect opportunity to teach students about countering an opposing opinion, deciding which is the strongest point, and then teach them how to address concerns of others in their writing or debate. For example, they can concede it is a valid point and then counter with another strong argument. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom (for online learning during absences and crises?). Use Padlet, reviewed here, to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): independent reading (117)
In the ClassroomEncourage student reading by signing up and sharing the Book It! program with your students. Set goals together with your students that match individual reading abilities and interests. Use a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to document student progress and accomplishments. Visit ReadWriteThink, reviewed here to find a large variety of activities and templates to extend learning with any book. Be sure to visit the section with printouts that contains many graphic organizers, writing starters, and assessment tools.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomUse this blog post as a starting point for ideas to use when teaching with nonfiction text. Create a book list using Padlet, reviewed here sharing ideas for nonfiction books with your students. Organize them into categories using the "stream" option. Ask students to share their comments and short book reviews as a way to share reading materials with classmates. Enhance learning further using nonfiction materials and lesson ideas found at ReadWriteThink, reviewed here. Type in "nonfiction" using the keyword search at ReadWriteThink to find printable materials such as a nonfiction pyramid, a lesson plan using guided inquiry to learn about nonfiction, and use of the THIEVES strategy as a guide to previewing nonfiction reading materials. Extend learning further by asking students to incorporate nonfiction text features within their writing. Share student work using Edublogs, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomAlthough many of the links to materials found on this site link to a paid site, the ideas are easy to incorporate without purchasing information. Use the ideas on the site to create your materials to fit your lesson needs. For example, use Google Slides, reviewed here to create and print visuals to display on your bulletin boards. Take your slides digital and add links to online learning resources to create a complete learning activity. Learn more about how to create interactive lessons using hyperdocs by watching the archived recording of the July 2019 OK2Ask Session: Believe the Hype! Using Hyperdocs for Innovate Instruction, located here. Find many different types of graphic organizers to use online or offline at the TeachersFirst Special Topics Resource Page, located here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources on this site to provide individual lessons or complete learning units for your students. As students complete assignments, use the many offerings found at Class Tools, reviewed here, to enhance learning through creating timelines, completing graphic organizers, and more. For activities that include new vocabulary, use a digital game creation site such as Baamboozle, reviewed here, to review and practice new words and terms. Have students show what they know upon completion of any of the activities using Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, to create a video, collage, or presentation sharing their knowledge of the subject.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomUse the video found on this site and the related materials as a starting point for students to understand the coronavirus and its effects on their community and the country. Incorporate resources from this site as part of a digital learning unit using TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here. In addition to materials from BrainPOP include YouTube videos, documents you create, and quizzes. Ask students to demonstrate and enhance their learning using materials such as those found at Class Tools, reviewed here. For example, have students use the Image Annotator, reviewed here, to upload a picture of their learning area and add "hotspots" showing surfaces where the virus might be found. Use the Crossword Generator and ask students to create crosswords to practice vocabulary, or have students use Qwikslides, reviewed here, to create and share a presentation about the coronavirus.
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomEncourage students to work through the layers of the Great Depression and Life in the 1930s, exploring these periods of history using primary sources. Use this curated list of primary source resources to engage students in learning about the past through comparisons to current day life. Use an online tool such a Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers to compare and contrast the different periods. Engage students as they explore events shared in the book through the use of bite-sized podcasts using Synth, reviewed here. Synth is an easy to use audio tool that encourages students to share their thoughts and learning reflections in 256 seconds or less.
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomThis lesson provides an excellent starting point for lessons about Harriet Tubman, strong females, and the Underground Railroad. Use the provided links to assign to students within Google Classroom and other media tools. Take advantage of technology to enhance student learning beyond the basics of this lesson. Instead of using the printable graphic organizer, use an online tool such a Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers. Use the Venn Diagram feature to compare and contrast Civil War times to the present, use the flow chart to help students visualize the flow of events leading up to and through the Civil War, or use the diagramming features to organize Civil War information including events, people, and places. Use an online bookmarking tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to organize and share online resources with students. Extend student learning even further by asking them to use a game-creation tool like Scratch, reviewed here, to create a game. Use facts, places, and events within the games to reinforce and teach about Harriet Tubman and her peers.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to find lessons to supplement your current curriculum in any subject. As you plan and teach any of these lessons, consider different options for using technology to enhance and extend student learning. Take advantage of the many resources found at Class Tools, reviewed here, for your or your students to create quizzes, graphic organizers, timelines, and more. As you include the lessons into your teaching unit, use bookmarking sites to organize information for your students. Symbaloo, reviewed here, is excellent for use with younger students because of the simple, easy to follow design. For older students, try SearchTeam, reviewed here. Search Team includes tools for you to collaborate and add notes while saving and sharing resources. Extend learning for students of all ages with Edublog, reviewed here. Consider using Edublog for students to write blogs, respond to their peers, and interact with a larger global community.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this easy to use tool for a variety of classroom uses. Upload images and use the text tool to add digital annotations. Ask students to add digital annotations to images, for example, different landforms or to share as an assessment. Use the shape tool to create quick and easy timelines. This is perfect for use as a quick activity on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to help students understand the sequence of a story or a timeline of historic events. Create graphic organizers and mind maps easily by using the shapes tools, drawing lines, and adding text with links to additional information. When working on group projects, suggest students collaborate together to create and annotate images to include with a final multimedia presentation. Use Google Drawings to easily create infographics to share information on any topic.
Grades6 to 10
tag(s): civil war (150), colonial america (108), concept mapping (18), debate (46), democracy (16), evaluating sources (17), greece (30), inquiry (30), maps (295), mexico (32), middle east (44), native americans (85)
In the ClassroomInstead of using paper documents, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Be sure to include mentor texts for student use. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. Although this site includes many high-quality graphic organizers, create your own and using Diagramo, reviewed here, to personalize for your classroom use. Have students use a digital portfolio tool to share their investigations. PorfolioVillage, reviewed here, includes many resources for creating online portfolios and web pages. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free games and materials on this site to use as a supplement to your current resources for teaching history and government. Instead of written notes, strengthen learning by having students use an online tool such as Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers. To compare and contrast information found in different primary sources, create a Venn Diagram using Creately. As students prepare to share their findings and summarize their learning, have them modify their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to visually represent facts and information. As a final assessment for your unit using these materials, ask students to form teams to debate different sides of the issues presented. Share their debates as a podcast using Anchor, reviewed here. Anchor is a simple to use podcasting tool offering several free options for creating, hosting, and sharing podcasts. As an alternative, ask other students redefine their learning and to create multimedia presentations using Sway, reviewed here to share text, videos, images, and more.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomYou and your students will benefit from this site's free materials to include in your science lab activities to teach content, problem-solving, and scientific investigation techniques. As students begin activities replace paper and pencil and use a digital graphic organizer such as one found at TUZZit, reviewed here, to organize questions and gather information. Upon completion of experiments, enhance learning and have students share their work using Printing Press, reviewed here, to create a one-page newspaper or brochure including images and text. At the end of your unit, have students use Biteable, reviewed here, to redefine their learning and create an explainer video sharing and demonstrating the results of their lab activities.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWhether 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. Use graphic organizers to help your visual learners build reading comprehension. Find something for all grade levels in this collection.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark this site if you teach space science for the many available resources shared with educators. Take advantage of the free lesson plans and interactives. Share how to use interactives on your whiteboard or with a projector then let students explore on classroom computers or their own device. Include a link to interactives on your class website for students to access from home. Use an online portfolio site like Seesaw, reviewed here, for younger students, or about.me, reviewed here, for older students to collect artifacts and share their thoughts throughout your space unit. Take student learning a step further and ask them to use an augmented reality application like HP Reveal, reviewed here, to create an augmented reality display of different portions of our solar system.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students and parents to use as a resource for making college decisions. Help students organize their findings by using an online diagramming tool like Lucidchart, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers. Save information gathered into PDF documents, then use Flipsnack, reviewed here, to turn their PDFs into an online flippable book. If you only have a word doc use PDFaid, reviewed here, to convert them to PDF format. As students near a final decision, use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual visit to their college of choice.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark Listenwise for use throughout the year in all subjects. Share lessons with students as a flipped learning experience. Have students listen to the broadcast before class, then ask students to discuss their thoughts and answer the comprehension questions using a video tool such as Flipgrid, reviewed here. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL and special education students as it allows the opportunity to listen to information as many times as necessary for understanding. Take advantage of the printables included with broadcasts that offer graphic organizers, charts, and much more.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude portions (or all) of these podcasts as part of your in-depth look at historical events. Have cooperative learning groups create their own podcasts discussing events and characters in history. Use a site such as Podcast Generator, reviewed here. Use an online tool such a Lucidchart, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers to organize historical information. Create a link to podcasts on your class page for students to listen to at home, then discuss in class. Alternatively, flip your class and have students view and react to the podcasts on YouTube using VideoANT, reviewed here. With VideoANT student's can add comments and ask questions as they watch videos.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomBegin by showing students the Freedom House interactive map and read the information in the right column about what a genuinely free press is. Compare that info to a partly free press (explained just under it). Then have students work in small groups or with a partner to fill out the worksheet/chart. Complete a class discussion of the chart, and then have the small groups or pairs choose one of the countries with partial freedom of the press and research what other freedoms the U.S. enjoys that are restricted or repressed for the citizens of that country. Add these to the chart. Challenge students to convert their paper worksheet/chart to an online digital infographic to present their findings using Visme, reviewed here, or to set up their own graphic organizer to show the comparisons using an online tool such as TUZZit, reviewed here. TUZZit allows you to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWhether the nation or your local government is going through an unpleasant, combative election campaign, or even during a yearly unit on the elections this collection from Newseum will help students understand our political system. Pique student interest by having them take the Political Personality Quiz. In small groups have students discuss whether or not they agree with the results. Next, you may want to use the Candidate Match to refine their political profile further, and then discuss how they feel about the candidate they matched up with and why they feel that way. While using any or all of the case studies with your students, don't forget to download the Activity, Handout, and Worksheet. All of the case studies have discussion topics.
All students need to have a voice during discussions, whether discussing as a class or in small groups, allow everyone to share their opinions and concerns using a backchannel tool for the class such as GoSoapBox, reviewed here, or with older students, in small groups, using a tool like Slack, reviewed here. Extension activities encompass making charts, lists, (use tools like 25 Language Arts Graphic Organizers, reviewed here, or Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, reviewed here), researching a candidate creating a slogan and explaining why the slogan fits that candidate, and creating a campaign event. For the latter two extension suggestions use a tool such as Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here.