Different Kinds of Graphic Organizers

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Graphic organizers have become a standard tool in classrooms for helping students to visually organize information in a variety of manners. There are many different kinds of graphic organizers that all display information in unique ways. These diagrams are indispensable for research and in gaining comprehension while reading.

1 T-Chart for Comparisons

One graphic organizer example is a T-chart. This graphic organizer helps students to take two things and look at how they are the same and how they are different. Set up in the shape of a "T," one item is placed on the left and the other on the right. The specific characteristics of each are listed below so that an efficient visual comparison can be made.

2 Venn Diagram for Compare and Contrast

Venn Diagrams are popular forms of graphic organizers. The Venn Diagram consists of two circles that cross one another and is used as a way to compare and contrast two items. Specific individual aspects are put in the left and right sections of the circles to distinguish the two items. Those characteristics that are common to both items are written in the center section where the circles overlap.

3 KWL Chart for Organizing Research

This useful organizer has three distinct columns with the following titles: "What I Know," "What I Want to Know" and "What I Learned." This chart is immensely useful to help students organize research and to also synthesize what they learned after their project has been completed. It can also be manipulated in a variety of other subjects, such as math and science.

4 Tree Diagram for Complex Ideas

Basically the shape of a tree, this diagram is utilized by placing a central topic on the trunk, and then filling in the branches with a variety of details that attach to it. It is a very versatile graphic organizer in that it can be used in endless ways. For example, the student can put the name of a character on the trunk and then fill in its characteristics from the story.

5 Time-Order Chart

To help students with sequencing of events in a story or that are associated with a certain topic, this is the graphic organizer to use. The central idea or topic is written in the center, and then the accompanying events are filled into the radiating squares. Below each event, the student can fill in a fact or two attached to it. This helps to visually organize these events in a way that is easy to grasp.

6 Sense Chart for Details

This wonderful diagram has five columns, each one with a picture representing the five senses: an eye for sight, an ear for hearing, a hand for touch, lips for taste and a nose for smell. Students can use this chart to organize different specific details for each of the senses underneath that are related to a certain topic.

Erin Steeley is a full-time writer and freelancer who uses her background in education, sign language and art to create quality articles. She published her first book, "The Soldier and the Storyteller," in 2006. Steeley has a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies from Pittsburgh State University.