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.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomUse this fabulous site as part of your lessons on biographies or as you learn about the states. Ask students to choose one of the biographies as a starting point for researching other Americans. For example, after learning about Walter Bresette, challenge students to learn about others who teach about American Indian rights and protecting the earth. Extend learning by using this site as a model for student-created projects or as a class project. Use a website creation tool like about.me, reviewed here, to build a webpage to tell about the famous person being researched. Include a video created using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, to bring their story to life; find many ideas and templates to help students organize information on Read Write Think, reviewed here. When finished, upload student-created documents similar to the booklets found on the site. Use the idea maps found on the Wisconsin site to create a timeline or other graphic organizer and include it on the student webpage using a link or by uploading their saved PDF. Create and include a trading card using Canva Edu, reviewed here, and sharing a link on student pages.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article with your other materials when discussing racism and bias. Engage students in a collaborative discussion of this article and others using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Add a link to the article in Fiskitt, then share with students to add questions and comments as they discuss the article together online. To help students focus on the topic, consider providing a list of possible questions before reading the article. Extend learning by asking students to use graphic organizers such as a 4-Circle Venn Diagram Creator, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information. For example, ask students to explore different media forms such as television, social media, podcasts, and literature and compare different presentations of racism and bias.
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomInclude this lesson during character education lessons that teach students about racism, bias, and identity. Use edpuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance students' viewing of the video included with the lesson. Search the YouTube portion on edpuzzle to find the video, then place the discussion questions within appropriate portions of the video. edpuzzle integrates with several learning management systems, including Canvas, reviewed here, making it easy to include your annotated video as part of a larger teaching unit. As students complete their book reviews during the lesson, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, to create video book reviews. Use this FlipGrid topic throughout the year to add additional book reviews for students throughout the school year. Upload the book review graphic organizer to your topic for easy access whenever students are ready to add a new review.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomBookmark activities and podcasts shared in this site to use when teaching about racial bias, empathy, and climate. Download the educator's toolkit to use as an excellent resource for graphic organizers for students to organize information and plan action steps for multiple different uses. As a culminating activity, engage learners to share their ideas by creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here. Have students create books that include images, videos, and written text that share their ideas on steps to take to address social issues.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomUse this article as a starting point to develop a research unit on any topic for students in primary grades. Engage students in the learning process by offering a variety of learning materials that appeal to different learners. Use a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, to curate and share online resources with students. Symbaloo is especially helpful for younger students because the linked icons make it easy to organize information into groups and provide a visual clue to the linked information. Enhance learning further using resources found at ReadWriteThink, reviewed here. Search for the Animal Inquiry Interactive, for example, to use in creating a graphic organizer sharing animal facts, including habitat, interaction with others, and more. In addition to using Book Creator, reviewed here, to create students' final projects, consider using WriteReader, reviewed here, for younger students and emerging readers and writers. WriteReader offers unique features, including the option for students to tell a story in their writing, while the "adult" version is shown below with correct spellings.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUtilize the free curriculums offered on this site to teach students (and yourself) about the proper use of copyright. If you are unable to download the videos, this site recommends viewing the videos using View Pure, reviewed here, to remove all of the annoying "extras" included with YouTube videos. As you teach lessons and ask students to brainstorm ideas or compare and contrast information, use a graphic organizer tool such as Popplet, reviewed here, to create and save visual displays of students' ideas that include both text and images. Ask students to include a link to their Popplet organizer on Seesaw, reviewed here, along with original drawings, recordings, or other materials created during your unit. As a final project, extend learning by asking students to create a tutorial about copyright based upon their knowledge. Provide a variety of resources for creating the tutorial as a way to differentiate learning. Examples of some tools to include are Book Creator, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, or create an infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomInclude this video and these lesson plans with your current poetry unit. Engage students by creating a Padlet, reviewed here, to learn more about Carl Sandburg and other poets. In your Padlet, post links to poems to read and watch as they are read by poets and entertainers. Find some ideas and examples to use at the Archive of Recorded Literature, reviewed here. Encourage students to collaborate as they plan and create their own poetry by using a shared whiteboard tool such as Draw.Chat, reviewed here. Draw.Chat doesn't require registration, invite collaborators by sharing the link. Use the whiteboard to upload images, create graphic organizers, and brainstorm ideas for poems. Share your class's poetry using Synth, reviewed here. Synth is an audio podcasting tool that automatically creates podcasts with short segments of up to 256 seconds each.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWhether teaching in a classroom or online, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. To prepare students for Common Core Assessments on evidence and arguments, have them choose a popular topic, research it (with the materials provided) so they can provide evidence for their stance when writing about their opinion or to refute another's. The debate section is the perfect opportunity to teach students about countering an opposing opinion, deciding which is the strongest point, and then teach them how to address concerns of others in their writing or debate. For example, they can concede it is a valid point and then counter with another strong argument. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom (for online learning during absences and crises?). Use Padlet, reviewed here, to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): independent reading (106)
In the ClassroomEncourage student reading by signing up and sharing the Book It! program with your students. Set goals together with your students that match individual reading abilities and interests. Use a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to document student progress and accomplishments. Visit ReadWriteThink, reviewed here to find a large variety of activities and templates to extend learning with any book. Be sure to visit the section with printouts that contains many graphic organizers, writing starters, and assessment tools.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomUse this blog post as a starting point for ideas to use when teaching with nonfiction text. Create a book list using Padlet, reviewed here sharing ideas for nonfiction books with your students. Organize them into categories using the "stream" option. Ask students to share their comments and short book reviews as a way to share reading materials with classmates. Enhance learning further using nonfiction materials and lesson ideas found at ReadWriteThink, reviewed here. Type in "nonfiction" using the keyword search at ReadWriteThink to find printable materials such as a nonfiction pyramid, a lesson plan using guided inquiry to learn about nonfiction, and use of the THIEVES strategy as a guide to previewing nonfiction reading materials. Extend learning further by asking students to incorporate nonfiction text features within their writing. Share student work using Edublogs, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomAlthough many of the links to materials found on this site link to a paid site, the ideas are easy to incorporate without purchasing information. Use the ideas on the site to create your materials to fit your lesson needs. For example, use Google Slides, reviewed here to create and print visuals to display on your bulletin boards. Take your slides digital and add links to online learning resources to create a complete learning activity. Learn more about how to create interactive lessons using hyperdocs by watching the archived recording of the July 2019 OK2Ask Session: Believe the Hype! Using Hyperdocs for Innovate Instruction, located here. Find many different types of graphic organizers to use online or offline at the TeachersFirst Special Topics Resource Page, located here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources on this site to provide individual lessons or complete learning units for your students. As students complete assignments, use the many offerings found at Class Tools, reviewed here, to enhance learning through creating timelines, completing graphic organizers, and more. For activities that include new vocabulary, use a digital game creation site such as Baamboozle, reviewed here, to review and practice new words and terms. Have students show what they know upon completion of any of the activities using Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, to create a video, collage, or presentation sharing their knowledge of the subject.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomUse the video found on this site and the related materials as a starting point for students to understand the coronavirus and its effects on their community and the country. Incorporate resources from this site as part of a digital learning unit using TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here. In addition to materials from BrainPOP include YouTube videos, documents you create, and quizzes. Ask students to demonstrate and enhance their learning using materials such as those found at Class Tools, reviewed here. Have students use the Szoter, reviewed here, to upload a picture of their learning area and add "hotspots" showing surfaces where the virus might be found. Use the Crossword Generator and ask students to create crosswords to practice vocabulary, or have students use Qwikslides, reviewed here, to create and share a presentation about the coronavirus.
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomEncourage students to understand the Great Depression's impact upon everyday life in the 1930s and explore these periods of history using primary sources. As you discuss the book and incorporate the suggested activities, be sure to include discussions on racism's effect upon the book's characters. Use this curated list of primary source resources to engage students in learning about the past through comparisons to current day life. Use an online tool such a Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers to compare and contrast the different periods. Engage students as they explore events shared in the book through the use of bite-sized podcasts using Synth, reviewed here. Synth is an easy to use audio tool that encourages students to share their thoughts and learning reflections in 256 seconds or less.
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomThis lesson provides an excellent starting point for lessons about Harriet Tubman, strong females, and the Underground Railroad. Use the provided links to assign to students within Google Classroom and other media tools. Take advantage of technology to enhance student learning beyond the basics of this lesson. Instead of using the printable graphic organizer, use an online tool such a Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers. Use the Venn Diagram feature to compare and contrast Civil War times to the present, use the flow chart to help students visualize the flow of events leading up to and through the Civil War, or use the diagramming features to organize Civil War information including events, people, and places. Use an online bookmarking tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to organize and share online resources with students. Extend student learning even further by asking them to use a game-creation tool like Scratch, reviewed here, to create a game. Use facts, places, and events within the games to reinforce and teach about Harriet Tubman and her peers.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to find lessons to supplement your current curriculum in any subject. As you plan and teach any of these lessons, consider different options for using technology to enhance and extend student learning. Take advantage of the many resources found at Class Tools, reviewed here, for your or your students to create quizzes, graphic organizers, timelines, and more. As you include the lessons into your teaching unit, use bookmarking sites to organize information for your students. Symbaloo, reviewed here, is excellent for use with younger students because of the simple, easy to follow design. For older students, try SearchTeam, reviewed here. Search Team includes tools for you to collaborate and add notes while saving and sharing resources. Extend learning for students of all ages with Edublog, reviewed here. Consider using Edublog for students to write blogs, respond to their peers, and interact with a larger global community.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this easy to use tool for a variety of classroom uses. Upload images and use the text tool to add digital annotations. Ask students to add digital annotations to images, for example, different landforms or to share as an assessment. Use the shape tool to create quick and easy timelines. This is perfect for use as a quick activity on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to help students understand the sequence of a story or a timeline of historic events. Create graphic organizers and mind maps easily by using the shapes tools, drawing lines, and adding text with links to additional information. When working on group projects, suggest students collaborate together to create and annotate images to include with a final multimedia presentation. Use Google Drawings to easily create infographics to share information on any topic.
Grades6 to 10
tag(s): civil war (132), colonial america (102), concept mapping (17), debate (40), democracy (16), evaluating sources (15), greece (27), inquiry (30), maps (248), mexico (31), middle east (44), native americans (80)