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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Death and Taxes: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go - Jesse Bachman

Grades
8 to 12
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See a graphical representation of the United States Federal Budget, clickable down to the little details. Although you can order this graphic organizer as a poster, the online version...more
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See a graphical representation of the United States Federal Budget, clickable down to the little details. Although you can order this graphic organizer as a poster, the online version allows you and your class to click and burrow down through the bureaucracy to see where the taxes go. Important note: Patience is worth it in waiting for this site to open (don't even bother on a dial-up). Requires the most current version of FLASH.Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

High demand can make this site slow to open fully. Be patient.

In the Classroom

Definitely place this link on your teacher web site for students to view with their parents at home. In class, consider assigning students to use the site to collect evidence for a debate on the size of government or simply open it and navigate as a class on an interactive whiteboard as you discuss the branches of government. You will be amazed what you find using this medium so "native" to your students.

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Be A Historian - Industrialization - Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area

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5 to 10
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This teacher friendly site has it all - thinking questions, facts, research activities and more! This site is designed for grades 6-8, but could be useful in grades 5-10. ...more
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This teacher friendly site has it all - thinking questions, facts, research activities and more! This site is designed for grades 6-8, but could be useful in grades 5-10. The students are taken back to the late 1800s by authentic pictures and creative learning activities. Topics include working women, railroads and other forms of transportation and mass production.

tag(s): industrialization (15)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive graphic organizers for students to complete individual or guided learning experiences. These would also work well on an interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Calendars through the Ages - Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement

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6 to 12
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This information-packed site focuses on calendars through the ages. It includes sections on the astronomy of calendars (e.g. moon cycles), the history of calendars, differences among...more
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This information-packed site focuses on calendars through the ages. It includes sections on the astronomy of calendars (e.g. moon cycles), the history of calendars, differences among various international calendars, derivation of the names of the months, and loads of other trivia about calendars.

tag(s): calendars (44)

In the Classroom

Lots of great stuff for "did you know?" discussions or as an extension of a study of timelines and other graphic organizers of information. A few interesting visuals, but the strength of this site is in its information. Might be a good source for monthly bulletin boards or an enrichment area for gifted students.

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Reading Strategies: Scaffolding Students' Interactions with Texts - Greece (NY) Central School District

Grades
6 to 12
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Find resources for teaching and modeling MANY reading strategies in your classroom, including handouts for graphic organizers and vocabulary development, all from this school-district...more
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Find resources for teaching and modeling MANY reading strategies in your classroom, including handouts for graphic organizers and vocabulary development, all from this school-district site. Each strategy is explained and classified as before, during, or after reading and then linked to further information. This is a one-stop shop for teachers in every content area, as well as those reinforcing study skills for learning support students and helping students prepare for standardized testing. Each strategy includes suggestions for how to differentiate instruction, as well.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), reading strategies (44)

In the Classroom

Give students links from your teacher web page directly to the graphic organizer they must complete for homework. Then there is no excuse such as having the dog eat it! Files are all Acrobat files, and Acrobat Reader is a free download.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual House - Birmingham Grid for Learning

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1 to 5
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Help ESL/ELL students build basic vocabulary skills with this multimedia site that focuses on objects found in and around a typical house. Students can navigate through the rooms and...more
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Help ESL/ELL students build basic vocabulary skills with this multimedia site that focuses on objects found in and around a typical house. Students can navigate through the rooms and click on each item to hear an audio translation and see its English name. The site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a lesson or unit about things around the house, as well as the home itself. Have students work in pairs, exploring through the outline of the house and the individual rooms. Make sure to provide headphones, to prevent different pairs from disturbing each other. Have students recreate a house with labeled rooms, using the vocabulary they learned from the site. Have students draw the house themselves, or create a basic outline ona graphic organizer. For help with graphic organizers, we recommend using Mindomo, (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour - Alzheimer's Association

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8 to 12
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This highly visual site gives visitors an unforgettable tour of the brain and explains the functions of its three main parts. Formatted as a self-paced slideshow, the site also provides...more
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This highly visual site gives visitors an unforgettable tour of the brain and explains the functions of its three main parts. Formatted as a self-paced slideshow, the site also provides an intense explanation of the effect of Alzheimer's disease on brain tissue. Roll your mouse over the colored text on each slide to view the specific region described.

tag(s): brain (72)

In the Classroom

Create a basic Web hunt or graphic organizer to guide students through the slideshow and encourage them to focus on the vocabulary and descriptions. The visual component of this resource helps students understand the logistical as well as functional aspects of each major region of the brain.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cycles: African Life Through Art - Indianapolis Museum of Art

Grades
8 to 12
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This beautifully designed site reveals the rich cultural traditions of Africa through its art and rituals. As students investigate this interactive exhibit, they can examine and manipulate...more
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This beautifully designed site reveals the rich cultural traditions of Africa through its art and rituals. As students investigate this interactive exhibit, they can examine and manipulate a variety of artifacts, listen to traditional music, and learn about the circle of life that dominates artistic expression throughout the continent. Aligned to Standards. Requires FLASH. If you do not see the site content coming up, get FLASH from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), cultures (105), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on African cultures. Because there is a lot of content on this site, it would probably work best with a graphic organizer to guide students. For help with graphic organizers, try Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pompeii: Stories from an Eruption - The Field Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of the current Pompeii exhibit at the Field Museum of Chicago with this site that brings the cataclysmic eruption to life. The true gem of the ...more
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Take a virtual tour of the current Pompeii exhibit at the Field Museum of Chicago with this site that brings the cataclysmic eruption to life. The true gem of the site is an interactive timeline that details and animates the events of August 24, AD 79. But be sure to check out the photo gallery - which includes images of frescoes, artifacts, and plaster and epoxy resin casts of some of the victims (a bit gruesome).

tag(s): volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive time-line on this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on ancient Pompeii. Because there is a lot of content on this site, we recommend creating a guide to help students grasp the basic concepts. For help with graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Confusing Words

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6 to 12
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This site sheds light on all of those pesky words - some homonyms, some just confusing - that create great frustration for students and English teachers alike. More than 3000 ...more
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This site sheds light on all of those pesky words - some homonyms, some just confusing - that create great frustration for students and English teachers alike. More than 3000 words, grouped according to the way they are misused, are presented, along with examples, explanations, and a helpful search feature.

tag(s): homonyms (12), homophones (17), spelling (168), synonyms (38)

In the Classroom

Use this site on confusing words in an ELL classroom. A lot of these words are pronounced similarly, and are typically confused by English learners. Have students work on this site in pairs, creating venn diagrams of specific word pairings. To make it more interactive, have student pairings work on different word sets and teach the differences to each other afterwards. To help students keep the differences in the words straight, have graphic organizers for students to use. For help making easy graphic organizers we recommend using a site such as Mindomo, (reviewed here).

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The Journey of Christopher Columbus - McGraw-Hill

Grades
5 to 7
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Follow Christopher Columbus on his 1492 journey to the new world with this informational site that reveals details of his life before the voyage, excerpts from his journals, a timeline,...more
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Follow Christopher Columbus on his 1492 journey to the new world with this informational site that reveals details of his life before the voyage, excerpts from his journals, a timeline, descriptions of the native people he encountered, and his activities after his return. Nice resource for a unit on explorers.

tag(s): explorers (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the famous explorer. Because of the large amount of information, this activity would work best with a guide to highlight for students what is most important. For help creating such graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a useful resource within a US history classroom.

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John Roberts Nominated as Chief Justice - NPR

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6 to 12
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NPR's collection of stories about the Roberts nomination includes background on his career, a look at the confirmation process, and discussions of Roberts and the rare opportunity to...more
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NPR's collection of stories about the Roberts nomination includes background on his career, a look at the confirmation process, and discussions of Roberts and the rare opportunity to fill two court vacancies. Useful for individual or group use.

tag(s): senate (9), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Though there have been judges nominated and appointed more recently than Roberts, this site provides some excellent information that makes it a great resource for a lesson on judicial nominations. Use this site as a hands-on activity after a class discussion or lecture on the topic. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site with the intentions of showing how Roberts moved through the processes to become a judge. Have students create graphic organizers or concept maps demonstrating the process. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.

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The Way of Knowing Trail - Brookfield Zoo

Grades
4 to 6
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Solve the mystery of the "Ways of Knowing Trail" and learn about the beautiful forest ecosystem of central Africa. Accompanied by four virtual students, visitors on this interactive...more
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Solve the mystery of the "Ways of Knowing Trail" and learn about the beautiful forest ecosystem of central Africa. Accompanied by four virtual students, visitors on this interactive journey experience several different local cultures, meet a variety of plants and animals that inhabit the region, and make many choices related to survival on the trail. Help with unfamiliar words and additional information about animals and people can be found in the valuable "Forest Factbook" that is presented to students at the beginning of the journey. Headphones are highly recommended.

tag(s): africa (180), animals (276), cultures (105), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a lesson or unit about the African forest ecosystem. Allow students to play the "ways of knowing game," helping them become more familiar with some of the images and vocabulary thats most likely incorporated into your unit. Because it can be a brief game, create a follow-up graphic organizer for students to reflect on the game as well as note any important information. For help with graphic organizers, we recommend Mindomo, (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Identifying Theme in a Story - ProQuest Information and Learning Center

Grades
6 to 8
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This lesson plan, downloadable and viewable as a Word document, introduces middle school students to the literary element of theme and provides practice in recognizing themes in a variety...more
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This lesson plan, downloadable and viewable as a Word document, introduces middle school students to the literary element of theme and provides practice in recognizing themes in a variety of texts (provided). Assessment suggestions, graphic organizers, and links to supporting materials are included. Aligned to National Standards. You MUST have Microsoft Word to open this lesson plan. Unfortunately, TeachersFirst cannot give you the program for free. Turn off your pop-up and/or download blocker to actually open this file.(Look for the thin yellow bar across the screen, just below the address bar to enable the download, depending on your security settings.

tag(s): plot (10), themes (12)

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Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age - Smithsonian

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers beautiful illustrations, photographs and interactive activities, all designed to acquaint visitors with the challenges and achievements of the Wright Brothers. In...more
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This site offers beautiful illustrations, photographs and interactive activities, all designed to acquaint visitors with the challenges and achievements of the Wright Brothers. In addition to excellent content - organized by topic in timeline format - the site features an artifact gallery and several well-planned classroom activities. An interactive "pitch, roll, and yaw" experiment is coming soon.

tag(s): wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom to introduce the topic of the Wright brothers. Select 3-5 of the more powerful images, placing them on separate slides in a Powerpoint, to be displayed over the projector. Have students write down what they observe, predict and infer about each image jotting them down on a graphic organizer. (For help making graphic organizers, try: Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).) Once the class has gone through all of the images, have a class discussion based on the notes that students took during the process. This activity can be used to introduce or review, in a non-lecture format.

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Stories of the Wrights' Flight - Smithsonian

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about a pivotal event in American history while strengthening research skills. This lesson plan combines primary source documents authored by the Wright brothers with newspaper...more
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Learn about a pivotal event in American history while strengthening research skills. This lesson plan combines primary source documents authored by the Wright brothers with newspaper accounts of the Kitty Hawk accomplishments. Students are asked to compare and contrast the two sources to identify discrepancies and isolate the most reliable documents.

tag(s): flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan that's offered on this site! There is even a pre-prepared graphic organizer that is available to help students catalog the information.

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Graphic Organizers - Houghton Mifflin Company

Grades
2 to 8
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This time-saving collection of dozens of graphic organizers includes timelines, Venn diagrams, sequence charts, persuasion maps, and much more. Each is available as a ready-to-print...more
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This time-saving collection of dozens of graphic organizers includes timelines, Venn diagrams, sequence charts, persuasion maps, and much more. Each is available as a ready-to-print PDF file. (You need Acrobat Reader- Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page). Available in Spanish.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43)

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Chaucer Metapage - University of North Carollina

Grades
10 to 12
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If medieval English literature is part of your British Lit curriculum, you might want to send your students to this resource for a sampling of the sounds of "Middle English." ...more
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If medieval English literature is part of your British Lit curriculum, you might want to send your students to this resource for a sampling of the sounds of "Middle English." Selected passages from the Canterbury Tales are read aloud by scholars of 14th and 15th Century English literature. Students can listen while following along with the text. Compare and contrast with modern English translations.

tag(s): chaucer (5)

In the Classroom

Use the audio portions of this site as a learning center or station during a lesson or unit on Chaucer. Have students listen to the audio portions and respond or decipher their meaning on a graphic organizer. For help making easy graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). Be sure to include headphones at the station to avoid students disrupting others!

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Powerful Days in Black and White - Kodak

Grades
9 to 12
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This site brings the many faces and struggles of the Civil Rights Movement into focus with riveting images by photographer Charles Moore. These moving scenes of riots, segregation,...more
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This site brings the many faces and struggles of the Civil Rights Movement into focus with riveting images by photographer Charles Moore. These moving scenes of riots, segregation, and triumph will make an unforgettable impact on your students. Use to generate reactions and open discussion in a 20th century American history class.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Take some of the more powerful images in this site and use it to create a visual discovery activity. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and go through the images one at a time - giving enough time for students to analyze and interpret the images individually. Have students focus on observations, inferences and predictions they can make from the images. This activity works best if used with a graphic organizer.

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Zoom into Maps - Library of Congress

Grades
5 to 12
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Browse through this extensive collection of maps from 1500 AD to modern times and discover some incredible gems to supplement everything from a history lesson to a study of Shakespeare's...more
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Browse through this extensive collection of maps from 1500 AD to modern times and discover some incredible gems to supplement everything from a history lesson to a study of Shakespeare's plays. Start with the site's downloadable graphic organizer that guides students through map analysis. A series of questions and tips for interpretation accompany each type of map and help with understanding of orientation, legend, and scale.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use this site for a geography course, or in a world history course when discussing the importance of cartography and its many varieties. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector. Work through the examples as a class, highlighting the images and what can be observed in each. This is a great way to show students concrete examples of how maps are and can be used.

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Odyssey Online - Emory University

Grades
4 to 8
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This extensive source, designed especially for elementary and middle school students, provides excellent information about the ancient cultures of the Near East, Egypt, Greece, and...more
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This extensive source, designed especially for elementary and middle school students, provides excellent information about the ancient cultures of the Near East, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. An additional section explores 19th - 20th century sub-Saharan Africa. Images of museum artifacts from each region are liberally distributed throughout the site, along with some interactive maps, occasional videos, and games. The Teacher Resource section provides lesson plans (aligned to national standards), suggestions for integrating art into the social studies curriculum, and helpful tips on using the site.

tag(s): egypt (67), greece (26), greek (41), greeks (30), romans (35), rome (27)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans offered on this site! This site could also be used as a learning center or station during a unit on Ancient Civilizations. Because there is a lot of content, we recommend creating a guide or follow along for students to accompany the site. For help creating graphic organizers, try Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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