Use a Graphic Organizer to Teach Critical Thinking Skills

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					    Great Ideas for Improving Student Learning with Graphic Organizers

Gail Corder                                                               TCEA 2005 Session 5218
Technology Coordinator                                                      Friday, February 11, 2005
Trinity Valley School
Fort Worth, Texas

Why Graphic Organizers?                            Uses Throughout the Curriculum

                                                   •   Can be used in every discipline
                                                   •   Recommend grade levels 3 – 12
                                                   •   Useful for professional and personal

Sample Diagrams
English/Language Arts

Circular Story (e.g. “If You Give a Mouse a   Click and drag words to correct dictionary page
Cookie..”) - Elementary                       – Elementary/Middle

Poetry Analysis – Middle/High School         Sentence Diagram – Middle School


Venn Diagram – Elementary to High         Vocabulary Lesson – Click and drag animals into
School; could be used in any discipline   correct classification – Elementary/Middle; could be
                                          used in any discipline

Heart Diagram – High School; good         Weather and Climate – Elementary/Middle; also
example of visual representation          highlights visual cues
Social Studies

History of Money – Middle/High School; visual       Economics – High School; stylized flowchart
and linear representation

Great Depression – Middle/High School; pre-
writing web


Probability Diagram – Middle School;       Polynomials – High School; concept map
good example of graphical representation
of concepts
Fractions – Middle School; same use as    Properties of Triangles – High School; review of
above                                     concepts in preparation for exam

Addition – Primary; good example of use
of Inspiration for primary grades

Foreign Language

Flowchart – High School; aids students in         Vocabulary Diagram – Middle/High School;
understanding of complex concepts and logic       could be used in any discipline
Dialogue Map (Before) – Middle/High School;         Dialogue Map (After)
teaches logic and vocabulary

Music and Art

Comparison of Composers – All levels;             Birth of Jazz – Middle/ High School; another
multidisciplinary                                 example of a stylized flowchart

Elements of Design – Middle/High School;
concept map or pre-writing web

Research and Planning

Big6 Research Skills – Middle/High School;     Web Page Planner – All levels/Instructor; for
aids students in organizing research           planning structure/hierarchy of any web site

Multimedia Presentation Planner – All          Lesson Planner – Instructor; could be used for
levels/Instructor; for planning multimedia     any professional or personal planning needs
(particularly hypermedia) presentation


Switch from Diagram  To Outline            Export to Word Processor  Fill in the gaps for
                                             a completed essay

Rubrics and software available. See resources below.

Best Uses of Graphic Organizers
•   In the hands of the students
•   Stress relationships between concepts
•   Ask good questions


My Graphic Organizer Site
• Graphic Organizer Software
   – Software for purchase
   – Free software
   – Software alternatives
• Lesson Plans
   – Printable graphic organizers
   – Sample Concept maps
• Assessment
• Other Graphic Organizer Resources