Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moving From Passive Learning to Active Learning With Graphic Organizers

How do we effectively convey information/content to students to ensure that they not only comprehend it, but can then represent this new knowledge in meaningful ways? How can we accommodate students that struggle with curating important information and managing abstract ideas? What strategies can we employ to aid information retention? The use of Graphic Organizers provide students and teachers with a tool to organize important ideas logically and visually. 

Graphic organizers provide student and teachers with a resource to visually present important information in a logical format that can simplify the transition of applying that knowledge. For example, a History Frame graphic organizer may be useful to aid in comprehension of Social Studies topics. A History Frame will ask students to identify when and were an event took place, the problem, the stakeholders, the key events, what was the result and what was the future impact.

Graphic organizers may also be useful for students to better understand what they already know and still need to investigate.  A KWL chart is a great resource for students to identify what they know about a topic, what they would like to learn more about and then what they have learned. This type of graphic organizer can be used for a Do Now at the beginning of the lesson and then again during the closure as they identify what they learned and would like to explore further.

There are many types of graphic organizers that can serve a variety of purposes. These valuable instructional tools are widely available on the web for free downloads. Completion of graphic organizers by students may serve as a formative assessment for teachers as they uncover the thought process of students as well as their level of understanding. English language learners will benefit from being able to visually organize small chunks of text in a logical order to complete a task or demonstrate understanding.

Here are some resouces for graphic organizer:

Write Design Graphic Organizers

Thinking Tools

UDL Graphic Organizers