Graphic organizers can be used as powerful tools for probing and analyzing student thinking and learning. Graphic organizers focus on specific ideas and provide students a clear layout for documenting their thoughts. Graphic organizers assess ongoing learning that typically fall into four categories: conceptual, hierarchical, cyclical, and sequential.
- Conceptual graphic organizers assess students’ understanding of a concept or a central idea. For these organizers, students provide supporting evidence, such as facts, characteristics, or descriptions. Some examples of conceptual graphic organizers are the Concept Map, Concept of a Definition, Compare/Contrast, KWL, Noting What I’ve Learned, and Venn Diagram.
- Hierarchical graphic organizers assess students’ understanding of a concept or topic by asking them to break down the concept into subconcepts or levels. The sub-concepts or levels could also be ranked by relevance or importance and arranged from top to bottom or bottom to top depending on their relation to the main concept. Some hierarchical graphic organizers include the Arch Diagram, Branching Diagram, Classifying Chart, and Topic/Subtopic Web.
- Cyclical graphic organizers assess students’ comprehension of natural cycles. Cyclical graphic organizers include the Circle Organizer and Circle Diagram.
- To assess students’ knowledge of a sequence of events, sequential graphic organizers are used. Some sequential graphic organizers are Cause/Effect, Problem/Solution, T-Chart, Story Board, and Sequencing Chart.
Story Map 1,2,3
Link to video on Graphic Organizers: http://spring12ell.wikispaces.com/Graphic+Organizers