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Strategies for Reading Comprehension
Graphic Organizers


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What Are Graphic Organizers?
You can call them graphic organizers, pictorial organizers, webs, maps, concept maps, or whatever other name you wish to give them...but graphic organizers are basically visual ways to represent information. You can create maps that arrange information:

There are literally dozens upon dozens of versions of graphic organizers; there are almost as many books, manuals, and guides, not to mention websites, that can give you a whole range of examples. For our purposes here, I only want to show you how graphic organizers can be simply an extension or adaptation of the Power Thinking strategy.

How Do They Work?
Since you know that some of your students are visual learners, and that a picture is worth a thousand words, then you should have in your toolbox some ways to organize ideas, facts, and concepts graphically. Graphic organizers are just the thing.

Using boxes, circles, ovals, rectangles, and other shapes, not to mention lines for connecting, students can show information according to its level (main ideas, subtopics, details or elaboration, and so on). They can show how two ideas compare to one another (as in a Venn Diagram) or Comparison-Contrast Chart. They can trace the order or sequence or stages of a process. They can show how characters in a story, or officeholders in a government, work with and relate to one another. In economics, that time-honored Circular Flow Diagram is an example of a graphic organizer.

Don't You Think It Would Be Helpful If I Could Actually See an Example of a Graphic Organizer?
I imagine it would be; I've put one example below.

You should also check out what the North Central Regional Education Library offers, by going here: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/learning/lr1grorg.htm

Here's a traditional web layout when you employ Power Thinking notions into your graphic organizer:

part of a graphic of a Power Thinking mappart of a graphic of a Power Thinking map
part of a graphic of a Power Thinking mappart of a graphic of a Power Thinking mappart of a graphic of a Power Thinking map

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