Utilizing Graphic Organizers

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Main Page-Anthony Traina

Unit One- Understanding Graphic Organizers

Unit Two- Creating Graphic Organizers

Unit Three- Utilizing Graphic Organizers in the Classroom


Before You Begin

Before you begin I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the various tasks throughout the design project. While working you way through the design project you will be prompted to complete two tasks at the end of each unit. The first task will be a hands on task pertaining to creating your own graphic organizer. The second task is a learning journal, this journal will allow you to reflect upon your experience throughout the design project. With that said, lets start your learning journal now.
  • Pre-Design Project Task
  • Learning Journal - Please take a few minutes to write down a few thoughts you might be having about this process. The prompts below are only suggestions. This is your journal feel free to add to or subtract anything that is listed below.
  • What do you already know about graphic organizers?
  • What are your expectations for this design project?

Introduction

How effective are graphic organizers across the educational spectrum? Comprehending and retrieving information from text, more specifically, expository text, poses one of the most difficult tasks encountered by students in school. The task of comprehending is made even more difficult by academic textbooks, which are overburdened with tedious amounts of information and sometimes poorly organized. Graphic organizers enable the learner to use his/her prior knowledge to interact with the text at a more complex level. Once this prior knowledge has been activated, the learner can take this new information and add it to his/her schema, thus, resulting in comprehension.

Graphic organizers are metacognitive tools in a visual form and David Ausbel’s further defines the term through advanced organizers in his glossary by stating:

"Introductory material presented in advance of and at a higher level of generality, inclusiveness, and abstraction that the learning tasks itself; designed to promote subsumptive learning by providing ideational scaffolding or anchorage for the learning tasks and/or by increasing the discriminability between the new ideas to be learned and related ideas in cognitive structure." (p. 606)

Further descriptions by Ausebel described the purpose of the organizer as bridging the gap between what the learner already knows and what they have to learn at any given moment in their educational careers.

When graphic organizers are combined with thinking skills and cooperative learning, they become powerful instructional tools. Teachers often refer to pre-writing webs as graphic organizers, however, current usage indicates that graphic organizers are visual representation of abstract information. Graphic organizers can be utilized within the classroom as a pre-reading, during reading, or post reading activity to encourage the learner to start thinking about what he/she will be reading, continue to be motivated, and to assess their learning. There are many examples of graphic organizers that encourage students to use concise wording, including simples sentences, phrases, and words, such as: sunshine wheel, concept web, mind map, venn diagram, ranking ladder, fishbone diagram, sequence chart, cross-classification chart, right angle, pie chart, and target; to name a few. In reference to Blooms Taxonomy, graphic organizers require the learner to analyze and synthesize information, a task that is rather complex. Graphic organizers break this hard task down, allowing the learner to pull key points and to identify relationships.

Performance Objectives

General Outcomes: Through participation in this professional development course participants will gain a better understanding of graphic organizers and the value they have in todays classroom. Participants will also learn how to create and utilize graphic organizers within the classroom.


Specific Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • understand what a graphic organizer is.
  • create various types of graphic organizers.
  • understand how to utilize graphic organizers in the classroom.


Unit One- Understanding Graphic Organizers

Performance objectives for this unit:

  • 1. What is a graphic organizer?
  • 2. What does the research say about graphic organizers?
  • 3. Types of graphic organizers.

Prerequisites for this unit

  • Comprehension of teaching subject/area.

Unit Two- Creating Graphic Organizers

Performance objectives for this unit:

  • 1. How to create a graphic orgainzer.
  • 2. Using Inpiration to create a graphic organizer.

Prerequisites for this unit

  • Basic computer knowledge.


Unit Three- Utilizing Graphic Organizers in the Classroom

Performance objectives for this unit:

Four Stages for Enabling Students to Construct Graphic Organizers

  • Stage 1: Teacher does it:
  • Stage 2: Class does it:
  • Stage 3: Groups do it:
  • Stage 4: Individuals do it:

Graphic Organizers in the Classroom

  • 1. Early Childhood Uses
  • 2. Elementary Uses
  • 3. Middle School Uses
  • 4. High School Uses

Prerequisites for this unit

  • Comprehension of teaching subject/area.
  • Basic computer knowledge.

References

Bergerud, D. Horton S., Lovitt, T. (2001). The effectiveness of graphic organizers for three classifications of secondary students on content area classes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23 (1), 12-29.

Chang, K. Sung, Y., Chen, I. (2002). The effect of concept mapping to enhance text comprehension and summarization. The Journal of Experimental Education, 71(1), 5-23

Culbert, E., Flood, M., Windler, R., Work, D. (1998). A qualitative investigation of the use of graphic organizers. Literacy Research Symposium, 43, 1-28.

DiCecco, V., & Gleason, M. (2002). Using graphic organizers to attain relational knowledge from expository text. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35 (4). 306-329.

Dye, Gloria (2000).Helping students link and remember information. Teahing Exceptional Children. 32, 72-76.

Ellis, E. (2004).What's the big deal with graphic organizers. Q&A. 1, 1-7.

Horton S., Lovitt, T., Bergerud, D. (2001). The effectiveness of graphic organizers for three classifications of secondary students on content area classes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23 (1), 12-29.

Katayama, A.D., & Robinson, D.H. (2000) Getting students ‘partially’ involved in note-taking using graphic organizers. The Journal of Experimental Education, 68 (2), 119-132.

Stephens, P. (2007).Making Art Connections with Graphic Organizers. School Arts. 106, 55.

Sundeen, T. (2007).Using Graphic Organizers. Beyond Behavior. Spring, 29-34.




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