Graphic organizers are visual representations of facts,
concepts or knowledge. They can incorporate both text and pictures, and are used to
identify visual patterns in and relationships from information. The pieces of a graphic
organizer can be compared to pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - the individual pieces have
little meaning, but like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, they form a discernible picture
when put together.
Graphic organizers are easier for humans to understand
than other representations such as pure text because they allow the mind "to
see" and construct meaningful patterns to create new insights. They are
especially effective to aid learning and thinking by helping students and teachers to
represent abstract information in a more concrete form, depict relationships between facts
and concepts, relate new information to prior knowledge, and organize thoughts for
There are literally thousands of web sites
dedicated to graphic organizers in all shapes and forms! Two types of sites may be useful
for teachers - web sites that describe the various types of graphic organizers available
to students, and then those that provide "blank" graphic organizers that can
printed out for classroom use.
Index Graphic Organizers
Classifies graphic organizers under various
headings, e.g. "Classifying", "Decision Making",
"Describing", "Sequencing", etc.
A large collection of graphic organizers
available in PDF format for classroom use.
Library of Graphic Organizers
A series of "thumbnail" pictures of
graphic organizers that can be enlarged and printed for classroom use.