This month's Teaching Tip comes from Literature Circles: The Way to Go and How to Get There.
Graphic organizers are diagrams, sketches, pictures, clusters, maps, outlines, etc. designed to help students put their thoughts into a logical form in order to clarify concepts or point out relationships between and among them. There are as many graphic organizers as there are people who organize. Some, however, have become more generally accepted than others.
Teachers who are trying to get students to write a paragraph with a main idea and four supporting ideas might draw a picture on the board, depending on their degree of artistic prowess, of an elephant or of a table. The body of the elephant (or the top of the table) is the main idea and the legs are the supporting ideas. The elephant, or the table, stands up best when all the ideas are present. You probably draw items like this all the time. In so doing, you are using graphic organizers.
See PDF for examples.
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