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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. The site grants permission for educational download and use of the images (NOT on a web page), provided you include the copyright information with each image. Have students create sets of images to illustrate a report or make graphic organizers illustrating families of animals from your area and their classifications into kingdom, phylum, etc. Be letting students choose their own animals and examples, the task will have more meaning to them. Individuals can set up memberships (click My ARKive) to make "scrapbooks" of images and information. Membership requires a valid email address (info on your registration is sent there), so a whole-class or teacher account may be the easiest way to use it.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (264)
In the ClassroomThe links on the site itself offer ways to let students investigate on the web themselves at safe sites. Integrate technology in your class by sharing the links as part of a web treasure/scavenger hunt using TrackStar, reviewed here, and asking students to collect characteristics of heroes on their own and put them in a collaborative graphic organizer like Mindomo, reviewed here. What a great start to a heroes unit---one that you can revisit and add to throughout the unit. At the end of the unit, let them use the class organizer as the basis for their own "design a hero" challenge instead of a test.
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): writing (364)
In the ClassroomUse this site and its organized approach to teaching story writing to your upper elementary and middle school students. Include the link on your teacher web page for them to use as a reference outside of class, as well. Consider having students use a graphic organizer of a story map to plan their stories (make one for them or have them use one of the many tools you can find on TeachersFirst by searching graphic organizer on our keyword search.
tag(s): mind map (25)
In the ClassroomHave students create graphic organizers in cooperative groups as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Share and compare the organizers on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class and allow classmates to suggest changes. Skills needed: join the site, practice with the tools (don't miss the notes feature!). Save up to 7 "private" maps and an unlimited number of "shared" maps.
Make a map available online by saving and clicking "yes" for sharing, then clicking the Save by URL icon. This will copy the URL onto your computer's clipboard so you can paste it into a word doc or even your teacher web page. Imagine sharing several student made "study guides" in the days before the unit test.
Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify members who may collaborate and make alterations. For students to collaborate using this tool they must have individual memberships, requiring an email account. These memberships must be activated from their email. So, if students do not have email that is accessible from school, classroom use BY STUDENTS will be severely limited. Editor's note: we asked the Mindomo folks about spell check and student safety issues. They are still developing this tool, so they MIGHT address these issues at a later date.
Grades6 to 12
The color-coded word "entries" display like a mind-map or graphic organizer, showing parts of speech in different colors and showing related words and phrases, as well. Be sure to look at the color key at the bottom to understand all the information presented. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..
In the ClassroomIntroduce new vocabulary before reading or starting a new unit, using this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The distinctions, examples, and relationships the site features for new words will help students build better connections and understanding as they read and study the words in classroom context. English teachers will love this as a learning tool for teaching distinctions between similar words. Just remember to use it in a monitored situation (see above).
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomTry these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for remediation or review. There are games, resources and a lot of information. The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these printed organizers as study support for any content area topic. Many are excellent options for reinforcing reading skills in the content areas, even for senior high students. Include this on your teacher web page so students can create their own organizers to study for tests or prepare presentations.
To make a new organizer, simply click "new," write title and directions, and print the small "print" icon. It may be easiest to take their default directions and change them for your purposes. Note that you LOSE your work when you close the page, so make sure you have printed first!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis site can also be used to help students develop study skills or determine what helps them learn best.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site gives good concrete information, but its real power is in the greater consideration of the rise and fall of civilizations through history. This is a VERY thought-provoking collection of resources. Teachers interested in tying this discussion to current events might discuss the future of civilization in Iraq considering the criteria for maintaining a society given in this site. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on ancient civilizations' collapse. This site could be specifically tailored to teach about Mesoamerican cultures as three of the 4 ancient civilizations were located in South America. To make that simpler, we recommend creating a guide for students through a website such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History classroom! Teachers of gifted could also use this site as the basis for a great social studies unit. If you own the old favorite computer game Civilization, you could put together some scenarios using that, as well.
Grades5 to 10
tag(s): industrialization (14)
In the ClassroomUse the interactive graphic organizers for students to complete individual or guided learning experiences. These would also work well on an interactive whiteboard.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): calendars (45)
In the ClassroomLots 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.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): brain (67)
In the ClassroomCreate 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.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): volcanoes (66)
In the ClassroomUse 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).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThough 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.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomSelect and choose material from this lesson to introduce your students to themes in literature. Some are better used with the entire class, others in small groups, pairs, or at stations. Have students create a digital bulletin board to post what they are learning and questions they have using a tool like Padlet, reviewed here. With Padlet you can create columns for categorizing information. Challenge students to create a word cloud about themes using Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here. After using the Scholastic lesson, continue student learning about themes by using CommonLit, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTake 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.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): wright brothers (19)
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades2 to 8
tag(s): graphic organizers (41)
Grades10 to 12
tag(s): chaucer (5)