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.

 

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Ancient China - British Musem

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover the culture of ancient China with this outstanding, interactive site that explores its artisans, geography, tombs, writings, and more. Each section of the site provides historical...more
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Discover the culture of ancient China with this outstanding, interactive site that explores its artisans, geography, tombs, writings, and more. Each section of the site provides historical information, a story, an in-depth exploration, and a challenge. The challenge activities promote higher level thinking and are ideal for independent practice and review.

tag(s): china (60), chinese (43)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Ancient China. There is a lot of content on the site, so it would be beneficial to create a graphic organizer for students to help organize their notes. (If looking for an easy find, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).) Teachers can also use the challenges to assess student participation, not to mention that kids will enjoy the brief respite from note-taking! A very useful resource for the world history classroom.

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Famous Moments in Early American History

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6 to 12
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These eight, high-quality mini-movies highlight true stories of historical significance using scenes and portraits from Early America. Titles include "The Ben Franklin Story," "Declaring...more
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These eight, high-quality mini-movies highlight true stories of historical significance using scenes and portraits from Early America. Titles include "The Ben Franklin Story," "Declaring Independence," "The Treason of Benedict Arnold," "Paul Revere - Messenger of the Revolution," and more! Project in the classroom, or take your students to the computer lab for an impressive multimedia experience. A high speed connection is a must! The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): colonial america (92), declaration of independence (12), franklin (8)

In the Classroom

Use these quick videos as a way to either review or introduce the American Revolution in your classroom. There is a lot of material in here, so we recommend creating some kind of graphic organizer or follow-along to help students digest and remember what's important.

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World Conflict Map - Nobel Foundation

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7 to 12
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Help your secondary students gain a greater understanding of some of the 20th century's most devastating military conflicts with this compelling, interactive map. Students can discover...more
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Help your secondary students gain a greater understanding of some of the 20th century's most devastating military conflicts with this compelling, interactive map. Students can discover where specific wars took place, who the main protagonists were, and which regions of the world have experienced the most unrest. Brief explanations about each conflict are also provided along with statistical information on the geographic distribution of Nobel Peach Prize laureates and nominees from 1901 - 2001.

In the Classroom

Share this site over the interactive whiteboard to introduce a unit on the Modern century and the warfare that has plagued it. Introduce the site, answering any questions before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups. Because there is a lot of information here, this site works best if students have a graphic organizer to guide them through and highlight what is most important. For help creating graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Powers of Persuasion - National Archives

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8 to 12
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The psychology of wartime patriotism is presented in this thought-provoking site that examines an impressive collection of propaganda posters used by the U. S. Government to promote...more
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The psychology of wartime patriotism is presented in this thought-provoking site that examines an impressive collection of propaganda posters used by the U. S. Government to promote the war effort in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. The on-line exhibit is divided into two thematic groups: posters that were designed to instill patriotism, and those that were created to show the horrors of war. The works of some well-known American artists, including Norman Rockwell, are represented. How did these words and images affect the hearts and minds of America citizens? How does this sanctioned propaganda compare with what the American government is communicating to its citizens during this current time of war? Use this impressive resource to generate discussion in a history or current events class.

tag(s): posters (44), propaganda (9)

In the Classroom

Use these images on this site to create a visual discovery activity. Select 3-5 of the more powerful images and put them on a PowerPoint, with each image showing for 1-2 minutes over the interactive whiteboard. Have students fill out a graphic organizer concerning each image, focusing on what students observe, infer and can predict. (To create the graphic organizer, try using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).)After the class has reviewed all of the images, have a class discussion based on their findings. Teachers will be surprised how much content is discussed. This activity works best as a review.

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The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students - Holocaust Memorial Museum

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8 to 12
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This well-organized site presents an authentic and factual view of the Holocaust in a format appropriate for middle and high school students. Text, historical photographs, maps, images...more
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This well-organized site presents an authentic and factual view of the Holocaust in a format appropriate for middle and high school students. Text, historical photographs, maps, images of artifacts, and audio clips provide a riveting experience for visitors. This resource is organized by themes which include Nazi Rule, Jews in Germany, the "Final Solution," Nazi Camps, and Rescue and Resistance. Each theme is supported by in-depth information, a helpful glossary and timeline, and a list of key dates and events.

tag(s): holocaust (40), jews (23), nazis (9), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to design a picture walk in your classroom about the holocaust. Select 10-15 of the more powerful images, choosing a variety of subjects. Assign students to begin at specific numbers, before allowing the class to rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds. At each image, students should quickly write down what they observe, infer and predict about each image. At the end of the picture walk, have a class discussion based on the notes students took during the walk. This would be a very interesting way to introduce the topic in a non-lecture format. For help creating the graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour - U.S. Senate

Grades
6 to 12
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic...more
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic views, fascinating historical information, and interesting details about many of the objects encountered along the way. This is an extensive tour, so a teacher-created map with explicit directions is strongly suggested before students embark on the virtual field trip. This one works best with a high speed connection.

tag(s): house of representatives (8), senate (10)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the branches and houses of government. Students will be able to connect the visual images with the content, and also gain more insight from the text. To highlight whats more important from the site, have students complete a follow-along guide of questions. For help creating one, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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What's That Stuff? - Chemical and Engineering News

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8 to 12
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This series of articles reveals the chemistry behind everyday products like toothpaste, silly putty, Cheese Wiz, and erasers. These fascinating and sometimes shocking revelations will...more
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This series of articles reveals the chemistry behind everyday products like toothpaste, silly putty, Cheese Wiz, and erasers. These fascinating and sometimes shocking revelations will motivate your students to pursue an investigation of their own favorite product. This award-winning site can be incorporated into an environmental science unit or used as a basis for a research project.

tag(s): chemicals (39)

In the Classroom

Use these articles as a way to show how chemistry affects students' everyday life. Once a week, select a product and show it to students via printed article or via interactive whiteboard. Have students create concept maps or Graphic Organizers, reviewed here, showing how chemistry led to the creation of the product.

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Mysterious Mummmies of China - PBS Nova

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6 to 12
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In the late 1980s, perfectly preserved 3,000 year old mummies began appearing in a remote desert in China. Surprisingly, they possessed the physical characteristics of Europeans and...more
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In the late 1980s, perfectly preserved 3,000 year old mummies began appearing in a remote desert in China. Surprisingly, they possessed the physical characteristics of Europeans and did not appear to be ancestors of the modern-day Chinese. Where did they come from? How were they preserved? What can linguistics reveal about such ancient people? The site explores these unsolved mysteries and makes connections to similar finds throughout the world.

tag(s): china (60), europe (71)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Ancient China in a World History classroom. Because there's a lot of content on this site, try creating a guide to help students understand what's the most significant. For help creating graphic organizers easily, try Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Travel Back to Colonial Times

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4 to 6
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If you have never used a WebQuest before, take the plunge and try this one! Faced with the task of discovering what information a time traveler to colonial America ...more
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If you have never used a WebQuest before, take the plunge and try this one! Faced with the task of discovering what information a time traveler to colonial America would need, students are asked to think creatively, work cooperatively, analyze information, and create a graphic organizer to represent their findings. Teacher notes, resources, and an assessment tool are provided. Created by Melissa Warren.

Note: 2-3 of the links are not working anymore, so teachers using the site should find replacements before using the webquest.

tag(s): colonial america (92), webquests (22)

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Read Write Think - NCTE

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1 to 12
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This site is not just for reading and English teachers! If you want to improve your students' reading and writing skills, browse through the extensive materials in this exceptional...more
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This site is not just for reading and English teachers! If you want to improve your students' reading and writing skills, browse through the extensive materials in this exceptional Web site. Literacy learning across the K-12 curriculum is supported through an impressive collection of interactive, technology-based student activities. Descriptions of how to use the activities in the classroom are provided along with lesson plans, Web resources, and related materials. Direct links to NCTE/IRA Standards are included. Created by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.

tag(s): literacy (94), resources (85)

In the Classroom

Within the classroom resources are plenty of lesson plans that are aligned to National standards. Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy reference whenever you're in need of fresh ideas and lesson plans. There are many resources available on ReadWriteThink for teaching literacy. Choose from lesson plans and units sorted by grade level, or narrow down your search to specific objectives including fluency, text structure, and more. In addition, ReadWriteThink offers almost 60 interactives including graphic organizers and tools for word work. Be sure to browse through the Printouts portion of the site; these aren't boring fill in the blank activities. Printouts include charts for reading records, writing tips, and card games.

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The War After the War - American Radioworks

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9 to 12
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A team that includes former National Public Radio correspondents has created an audio-based web site that examines the various political, military, social, and economic issues with...more
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A team that includes former National Public Radio correspondents has created an audio-based web site that examines the various political, military, social, and economic issues with which both Americans and Iraqis must cope in post-war Iraq. It is an impressionistic view, but interesting nonetheless.

tag(s): iraq (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the Iraq war and the War on terror that has pervaded US foreign politics for the better half of a decade. Because there is a lot of information on this site, this activity would work best with a follow-along or guide. For help creating easy graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, reviewed here.

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Who's Who in Post-War Iraq - BBC

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6 to 12
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BBC's presentation on the key players in today's Iraq will help teachers and students sort out both the individuals and the many movements and factions that are now vying for ...more
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BBC's presentation on the key players in today's Iraq will help teachers and students sort out both the individuals and the many movements and factions that are now vying for influence in that nation. This one would make a great backgrounder for a discussion on balancing power in Iraq in the effort to build a democratic government there.

tag(s): iraq (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the War on Terror and the fighting in the Middle East. Because there is a lot of information on this site, this activity works best with a follow-along or guide to highlight for students what's most important. For help creating easy graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, reviewed here.

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Churchill - PBS

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6 to 12
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One of the twentieth century's real giants, Churchill's accomplishments go well beyond the content on this companion site to the PBS series of the same name. While most famous as ...more
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One of the twentieth century's real giants, Churchill's accomplishments go well beyond the content on this companion site to the PBS series of the same name. While most famous as a World War II leader, his influence on the British government stretched from the 1920s well into the 1950s. This site is a great introduction, but serious secondary students should be prepared to delve more deeply.

tag(s): churchill (7), middle east (40), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII. Because there is a lot of information on this site, it would probably work best if students had a graphic organizer to guide them through. For help creating graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Chickscope - University of Illinois

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3 to 8
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This site from the University of Illinois offers information on eggs, chicks, and ways in which to study them. The sections on "egg math" and embryology are the most complete, ...more
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This site from the University of Illinois offers information on eggs, chicks, and ways in which to study them. The sections on "egg math" and embryology are the most complete, though it's not entirely clear for which grades these activities were intended. That said, this one's worth a look, especially if your middle school science curriculum covers these topics.

tag(s): eggs (6)

In the Classroom

Use the chickscope embryology to show how a chick develops in an egg over a 21-day period. Have students complete the site as a learning center or laptop tour, looking at the development of the chick over a few days. As a companion assignment, have students take notes on the process on graphic organizers. For help making the sheets, use a site such as Mindomo, (reviewed here).

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English Literature - the Seventeenth Century - Luminarium

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9 to 12
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The Luminarium site provides a very nice collection of 17th century English literature, including poetry, in full-text. There is also biographical information on major authors, as well...more
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The Luminarium site provides a very nice collection of 17th century English literature, including poetry, in full-text. There is also biographical information on major authors, as well as a collection of web links for each author. We could do without the musical introductions, but they don't detract from the quality of this information.

tag(s): literature (220), poetry (182)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on this time period within a Language Arts or Social Studies class. Create a "scavenger hunt" through the site, guiding students through the various authors and statesman that had lasting impact on literature. We recommend using a graphic organizer to guide students through the site, using a tool such as Mindomo, (reviewed here).

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What Did T. rex Taste Like? - U.C. Berkeley

Grades
7 to 12
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This well-organized site from U.C. Berkeley provides middle and high school students with an introduction to cladistics (a way of organizing living things by common ancestry and evolutionary...more
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This well-organized site from U.C. Berkeley provides middle and high school students with an introduction to cladistics (a way of organizing living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships) and involves students in posing hypotheses about past life based upon evolutionary history. The site was created with support from the National Science Foundation.

tag(s): dinosaurs (38), evolution (86), fossils (37)

In the Classroom

Use this activity as a learning center or station during a unit on cladistics or evolution. Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and have students complete the activity in pairs or cooperative learning groups. This would be a great activity during a Biology class. As an extension, students can summarize what they learned in an flow chart or graphic organizer such as Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, reviewed here.

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History in Pictures - Time, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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The Life magazine collection on this gettyimages site offers many thematic collections of images from the 1930s through the 60s. While all are copyrighted, they provide elegant illustrations...more
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The Life magazine collection on this gettyimages site offers many thematic collections of images from the 1930s through the 60s. While all are copyrighted, they provide elegant illustrations of what life was like in the mid 20th century. Try this one if you need illustrations for a lesson unit or subject area.

tag(s): air (106)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a means to search for images to be used in a visual discovery activity. Select 3-5 images from this site, to be placed on a PowerPoint presentation. Have students view images one at a time, while filling out a graphic organizer asking them to observe, infer and predict the events seen in the image. This activity is a great way to get students talking about the content in a way that's helping them review simultaneously. After students have seen all the images, a great way to review is to have students discuss what their answers were and how they came to find them.

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Star Spangled Banner - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about the flag that inspired the National Anthem at this Smithsonian site. The site includes a quiz, a teacher section, and descriptive information about the flag, the War of...more
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Learn about the flag that inspired the National Anthem at this Smithsonian site. The site includes a quiz, a teacher section, and descriptive information about the flag, the War of 1812, and the battle at Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem.

tag(s): national anthem (3), war of 1812 (12)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory activity for a lesson on the Flag's creating during a unit on the American Revolutionary War. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups on classroom computers. Have the students search the site with, answering specific questions on a follow-along (created by you) that encourages them to explore the site in depth. For help with making that follow-along, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). Afterward, have a class discussion or some sort of reflection piece to allow students to vocalize questions and opinions about the information presented.

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FireWise

Grades
6 to 12
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Though not designed specifically for students, this site, containing a wealth of information on ways to minimize dangers to people from forest fires, includes many examples of how man...more
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Though not designed specifically for students, this site, containing a wealth of information on ways to minimize dangers to people from forest fires, includes many examples of how man and his environment can be at odds with one another. In addition to the scientific issues involved in fire control and prevention, this site would contribute to a discussion on ecosystems and encroachment into wilderness areas.

tag(s): fire (24), fire prevention (11)

In the Classroom

As your students study about safety or environmental issues, include this site as a resource. Ask students to create a fire pro and con list as they discuss the more obvious safety issues of fire and the balancing role that fire can play in renewing habitats and nature's cycles. Extend learning by using an online graphic organizer tool such as bubbl.us, reviewed here, to map out the many impacts that wildland fires can have.

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Woody Guthrie: Bound for Glory - Museum of Musical Instruments

Grades
6 to 12
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The Museum of Music History offers this online exhibition about the songs and life of singer Woody Guthrie. There are lyrics, music samples, and background information on the singer's...more
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The Museum of Music History offers this online exhibition about the songs and life of singer Woody Guthrie. There are lyrics, music samples, and background information on the singer's life and life during the great depression. This one would be a great adjunct to a study of either folk music or the Depression.

tag(s): composers (16), great depression (27), songs (44)

In the Classroom

Use this site to shed some more light on the famous singer who created one of the great patriotic songs in American history. Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing them to explore it on their own or in groups on classroom computers. If using a follow-along or graphic organizer, teachers could tailor this lesson to be a focus on the Great Depression and how it affected different types of people. If using a graphic organizer we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here)

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