How to Manage an Independent Reading Program

Teaching Tip of the Month

This month's Teaching Tip comes from How to Manage an Independent Reading Program.

Choosing a Graphic Organizer

Overview: Students must be able to focus on information in the text and then choose a specific type of organizer based on purpose, text characteristics, and personal preference.

Objective: for students to analyze the text and practice organizational strategies by choosing an appropriate graphic organizer to arrange, organize, summarize, sequence, or compare the text

Resources/Materials: graphic organizers to display (see pages 35-36), selected reading passage to display and distribute, overhead projector, blank paper

Activity

  1. Write the words graphic organizer on the board or overhead. Survey the students to see if they know what this means. Discuss the meanings of the words graphic (picture, relating to the visual arts, diagram, vividly realistic) and organizer (give orderly structure, arrange).
  2. Following students' understanding of the term, display overhead samples of or ganizers (see pages 35-36) Review the purpose of each or ganizer.
  3. Instruct students that they will practice choosing an or ganizer to display or arrange information learned from the text. Display and distribute the reading passage you have selected. Formulate a question for students to answer using a graphic or ganizer of their choice:
    1. Which graphic organizer would you choose to compare and contrast X and Y?
    2. Which graphic organizer would you choose to sequence the events in order?
    3. Which graphic organizer would you choose to summarize what you have read?
    4. Which graphic organizer would you choose to show how the actions of the main character/person had an effect on others?
    5. Which graphic organizer would you choose to show how the problem was solved?
    6. Which graphic organizer would you choose to show your background knowledge and questions for what you want to learn as you read?
  4. Provide each student with blank paper to draw and complete the appropriate or ganizer with information from the text.
  5. Provide additional questions so students can draw and complete additional or ganizers.
  6. Instruct students that they will be responsible for choosing the shape of an or ganizer based on the purpose of the text and the information learned. Remind students that using various types of organizers helps them to practice different types of organizational strategies, especially in note-taking.

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