Guidelines for Designing Graphic Organizers (GO)
- Determine information to be used for the graphic organizer.
- Note the main idea and key points.
- Choose a design format.
- Represent inter-relationships among ideas.
- Include personal reactions, if appropriate.
- Include items that will require the use of higher-order thinking skills.
- Include information that represents a summary or synthesis of the whole lesson, chapter, or unit.
- Include information that will aid in the reconstruction of the original information.
- Use adequate connecting lines.
Guidelines for Assisting Students in the Creation of Graphic Organizers
- Discuss with students what graphic organizers are and how they can be used.
- Show students examples and non-examples of graphic organizers.
- Use a completed graphic organizer to teach a lesson or fill in a GO while teaching a lesson.
- Let students help the teacher fill in a blank GO on the overhead projector.
- Give students a partially completed GO. Teacher has the same GO on the overhead. Teacher and students fill in together or students may fill in together working in small groups or individually.
- Students are given a blank GO to fill in working together in small groups or individually.
- Give students opportunities to create own GO. Let them design their own format. They may work individually or in small groups.
- Let students present their GO to class to teach a mini-lesson or to explain why they chose a particular format.
Definition Uses in Instruction
- Locate & remember key facts and ideas
- Introduce and/or rearrange text information
- Written & spatial arrangement of information
- Summarize text chapters/units
- View information as a meaningful whole
- Study guides
- Inter-relationships among ideas
- Alternative test formats
Reprinted with permission, The Collaborator, a publication of the Resource/Collaborative Teaching Masters in Education Program at the College of William and Mary, Vol. 5 (2), Spring 1997.