Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Praise of Graphic Organizers

What can I say--I've loved the Venn diagram ever since I learned about it in elementary school. It's so elegant and useful, and so much of life can fit into its scheme. I love analyzing and organizing information, which explains in part why I'm a librarian. Yet it was a long time until I realized there were other graphic organizers, dozens of them.

In my last post, I talked about a more sophisticated Compare-and-Contrast graphic organizer:

I mentioned it in relationship to comparing books but the chart could be used, like the Venn diagram, for comparing so many things that occur in the curriculum.  It can be downloaded from NCTE's ReadWriteThink (http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson275/compcon_chart.pdf).  You can find more there by searching "graphic organizers."

The Common Core emphasis on nonfiction and analysis has sent me on an Internet treasure hunt for graphic organizers.  Besides ReadWriteThink, here are some educational and publisher websites with a wonderful array of organizers that you can print as PDFs or Word documents.  Enjoy!  

Cobb Schools
Lots of graphic organizers printable as Word documents.
Links to other graphic organizer websites.
Greece School District
Dozens of printable “tools for reading, writing & thinking” including graphic organizers & note-taking sheets for grades 6-12.

Houghton Mifflin’s Eduplace
40 organizers that can be saved/printed as PDFs

National Geographic Education
Graphic organizers printable as PDFs

Resources for Idaho Teachers
Graphic organizers printable as PDFs or Word files. 
Includes tips on having students draw their graphic organizers.

Scholastic Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension
Includes organizers for analyzing texts and responding to stories for K-12.


  1. Kathy,
    Love this post - I believe as a librarian when I here the word "organized" it gives me hope that I can sometime be organized. Graphic organizers appeals to my visual mind's eye to bring information together in so many different relationships. I hope everyone gives our students opportunities to move information around to build those different relationships with the wonderful variety of graphic organizers you have cited.
    Thanks Sue Bartle

  2. Kathy,
    My students (grads and undergrads) are going to love this post. So many graphic organizers, all in one place. Now all we have to do is hitch them to some intriguing lessons.Thank you for making this so convenient