Graphic Organizers

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Graphic Organizers - Use of Graphic Organizers in ESL

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Graphic organizers are used to improve students' comprehension of stories, as well as build writing and vocabulary skills. This list provides a wide variety of graphic organizers for a variety of English learning tasks. Each graphic organizer includes an empty template, an example graphic organizer with entries and a discussion of appropriate uses in class.

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Spider Map Organizer

Template Spider Map Organizer.

Use the spider map organizer in reading comprehension activities to help learners analyze texts they are reading. Learners should place the main topic, theme or concept in the center of the diagram. Learners should then place main ideas which support the topic on the various arms. Finally, details supporting each of these ideas should be provided in the slots that branch off from the main idea arms.

Spider Map Organizer for Writing

The spider map organizer can be employed to help learners develop their writing skills. As in the case for reading comprehension activities, learners place the main topic, theme or concept in the center of the diagram. Main ideas and the details supporting those ideas are then filled in on the supporting branches, or 'legs' of the spider map organizer.

Example of a Spider Map Organizer

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Spider Map Organizer

Example Use.

Here is a spider map organizer that can be used as an example for either reading or writing comprehension.

To quickly review, learners place the main topic, theme or concept in the center of the diagram. Main ideas and the details supporting those ideas are then filled in on the supporting branches, or 'legs' of the spider map organizer.

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Series of Events Chain

Template.

Use the series of events chain organizer to help students connect information as it occurs over time. This can be used for reading comprehension, or writing.

Series of Events Chain for Reading Comprehension

Use the series of events chain organizer in reading comprehension activities to help learners understand tense use as it relates to the unfolding of events in short stories or novels. Learners should place each event in the order of its occurrence in the series of events chain. Learners can also write down full sentences taken from their reading to help them learn how different tenses relate to each other as a story unfolds. Then can further analyze these sentences by noticing the linking language that has been used to connect the series of events.

Series of Events Chain for Writing

Similarly, the series of events chain organizer can be employed to help learners organize their stories before they begin writing. Teachers can begin by working on appropriate tenses for each of the events once they have been entered, before learners begin writing their compositions.

Example of a Series of Events Chain

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Series of Events Chain

Example.

Here is a series of events chain organizer that can be used as an example for either reading or writing comprehension.

To quickly review, use the series of events chain organizer to help learners understand tense use as it relates to the unfolding of events.

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Timeline Organizer

Template.

Use the timeline organizer in reading comprehension activities to help learners organize the chronological order of events in texts. Learners should place major or key events in chronological order. Learners can also write down full sentences taken from their reading to help them learn how different tenses are used to indicate position on the timeline.

Timeline Organizer for Writing

Similarly, the timeline organizer can be employed to help learners organize their stories before they begin writing. Teachers can begin by working on appropriate tenses for each of the key events once they have been entered, before learners begin writing their compositions.

Example of a Timeline

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Timeline Organizer

Example.

Here is a timeline organizer that can be used as an example for either reading or writing comprehension.

To review: Use the timeline organizer to help learners organize the chronological order of events. Learners should place major or key events in the order of occurrence.

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Compare Contrast Matrix

Template.

Use the compare and contrast matrix in reading comprehension activities to help learners analyze and understand the similarities and differences between characters and objects in texts they are reading. Learners should place each attribute or characteristic in the left-hand column. After that, they can compare and contrast each character or object with regards to that characteristic.

Compare and Contrast Matrix for Writing

The compare and contrast matrix is also useful for organizing the main characteristics of characters and objects in creative writing assignments. Learners can begin by placing the main characters at the head of the various columns and then compare and contrast each character or object with regards to a specific characteristic they enter in the left-hand column.

Example of a Compare and Contrast Matrix

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Compare Contrast Matrix

Example.

Here is a compare and contrast matrix that can be used as an example for either reading or writing comprehension.

To quickly review, learners can begin by placing the main characters in the various columns and then compare and contrast each character or object with regards to a specific characteristic they enter in the left hand column.

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Structured Overview Organizer

Template.

Use the structured overview organizer in vocabulary activities to help learners group related vocabulary. Learners should place a topic at the top of the organizer. After that, they break out main objects, characteristics, actions, etc. into each category. Finally, students fill in the categories with the related vocabulary. Make sure that this vocabulary relates back to the main topic.

Structured Overview Organizer for Reading or Writing

The structured overview organizer can also be used to help learners develop their reading or writing. Much like the spider map organizer, learners place the main topic, theme or concept at the top of the diagram. Main ideas and the details supporting those ideas are then filled out in the supporting boxes and lines of the structured overview organizer.

Example of a Structured Overview Organizer

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Structured Overview Organizer

Example.

Structured overview organizers are especially useful as vocabulary maps by category. They can also be used to organize main and supporting ideas.

Here is a structured overview organizer that can be used as an example for vocabulary building.

Learners place the main vocabulary topic or area at the top of the diagram. They fill in vocabulary in categories by character, action, word type, etc.

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Venn Diagram

Template.

Venn diagram organizers are especially useful in creating vocabulary categories that share certain characteristics.

Venn Diagrams for Vocabulary

Use the Venn diagram organizer in vocabulary activities to help learners discover similar and dissimilar characteristics between vocabulary used with two different subjects, themes, topics, etc. Learners should place a topic at the top of the organizer. After that, they break out characteristics, actions, etc. into each category. Vocabulary that is not common to each subject should be placed in the outline area, while vocabulary that is shared by each each subject should be placed in the middle.

Example of a Venn Diagram

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Venn Diagram

Example.

Venn diagram organizers are especially useful in creating vocabulary categories that share certain characteristics.

Here is an example of a Venn diagram used to explore the similarities and differences between students and teachers.

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Graphic Organizers." ThoughtCo, Mar. 20, 2017, thoughtco.com/types-of-graphic-organizers-4122875. Beare, Kenneth. (2017, March 20). Graphic Organizers. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-graphic-organizers-4122875 Beare, Kenneth. "Graphic Organizers." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-graphic-organizers-4122875 (accessed September 21, 2017).