Why Use Graphic Organizers?

Using Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers can support all subject areas, languages, and levels of learning. The graphic organizers on Reading-Tutors have been organized into two separate collections--one for primary grades (K-2) and one for intermediate grades (3-6). These collections are arranged according to the reading strategy, comprehension skill, or learning process they best facilitate. The majority of the organizers in both collections can be adapted for use in all classrooms and for learners of all abilities.

When using graphic organizers with early readers, teacher guidance may be necessary. As readers progress, they may benefit from completing the organizers independently (the brain remembers best when personal creativity has been invested in the exercise). To facilitate the learning process, encourage the use of a variety of mediums, including colored markers, crayons, and pencils. If possible, it benefits students to have the graphic organizers reproduced on colored paper. Give students as much freedom as possible to create and complete their organizers.

The human brain naturally looks for connections between old and new information. Additionally, studies have shown that the brain processes information most efficiently in chunks. Graphic organizers complement both of these processes by helping students:

  • Visually sort new information into familiar categories
  • Analyze the relationships between old and new information
  • Create a simple structure for thinking about information in new ways
  • Review concepts and demonstrate understanding

Graphic organizers can be used in all phases of learning from brainstorming ideas to organizing thoughts to presenting information read from books. The graphic organizer collection on Reading-Tutors has been tailored to meet the needs of most classrooms and students.