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- Aubra L., Teacher
- Townsend, MT
Using Graphic Organizers Teacher Resources
Find Using Graphic Organizers educational ideas and activities
Is Pluto still a planet? Using this popular question, kids are introduced to graphic organizers as a writing tool. As a class, they watch a demonstration on how to use them and work together with a partner to research whether Pluto is a planet or not. In groups, they travel between stations to discover both sides of the argument.
Fourth graders tackle the close reading skill of learning how to find the main idea and details within informational text. A graphic organizer is provided to help learners navigate taking note-taking skills with the book, The Iroquois: A Six Nations Confederacy. Although the text of the book is not available, this plan includes great instruction on how to systematically lead a class through becoming efficient note-takers. This ELA lesson is part of a bigger unit that is designed to supplement the social studies curriculum for teachers in New York state.
How does one use a graphic organizer to plan writing? Introduce your writers to different types of graphic organizers by dividing the class into groups and assigning each group a particular organizer. Then, as they research chocolate (yum!), they record some of the pros and cons to their specific organizer.
As part of their examination of Carolina history, eighth graders use a graphic organizer to record information found in a primary source about the relationship between colonists and the Tuscarora. If possible, have learners read the excerpt from John Lawson’s assessment online. As the reader moves the mouse over the highlighted text or images, background information or commentary is revealed. Included in the resource are links to Lawson’s writings, a template for the organizer, and a teacher guide.
In lesson 13 of this unit on colonial trade, young researchers learn about apprentices as they prepare to write help-wanted ads for the specific trade they have been researching. To begin, the class listens closely as the teacher reads aloud an informational text on apprentices while working in small groups to take notes on the information they hear. Using their notes, learners then write a summary paragraph about apprentices in colonial times. Finally, pupils participate in guided practice where the teacher models how to fill in a graphic organizer that helps plan out the help-wanted ad they will be writing in the next lesson. A great resource that uses the concept of apprenticeship to engage young scholars as they learn how to use their research in creating a piece of expository writing.
Fourth graders view examples of help-wanted ads as they plan and create their own writing in the fourteenth lesson of this unit on colonial trade. The engagement of the class is captured when the teacher shares an actual help-wanted ad for an apprentice printed during colonial times. Learners then analyze a piece of included sample writing as they form a clear understanding of the expectations for their work. Next, young scholars plan their writing using previous research and a graphic organizer before finally writing their own help-wanted ad. A lesson that engages and supports students as they pull together all the research and work they have done in this unit to create a piece of original writing.
"I love it when a plan comes together." Building on the previous lesson in this unit, young writers use their graphic organizers to create a draft of their constitution explanatory paragraphs. The teacher models this process for the class, demonstrating how ideas are transformed from an outline into an organized piece of writing. Throughout this process, learners discuss with one another the steps being taken, reinforcing their understanding before working independently to produce their own writing. To conclude, the class pairs up to share their work, writing a compliment about each other's paragraph on an index card as their exit ticket. A great resource that clearly models the process of planning and drafting a piece of explanatory writing.
Advance the comprehension of the classical appeals of rhetoric through the speeches of Winston Churchill and FDR. Learners read, annotate, analyze the speeches by the men, and use a graphic organizer to track the use of ethos, pathos, and logos. A great Prezi presentation included explains and models the use of ethos, pathos, and logos. If you find that World War II does not match your curriculum, any other speech, or informational text can be substituted and would work without a hitch.
Get ready to teach a unit about community workers that uses Common Core literacy standards as a way to connect language arts and social studies. The packet is printable and contains teaching strategies, scripted activities, and performance tasks for reading and writing with informational texts. Children will learn about and discuss the role community workers play in their everyday lives, as well as explore the use of textual evidence in their writing and their speaking. Both the reader's and writer's workshops are broken down into comprehensive tasks by day. Worksheets, graphic organizers, web links, rubric, and standard rationale are all included.
Designed for use with a poem that is not included, this graphic organizer is called the Mayan Step Pyramid. On the top, readers describe the topic. On the left, they define the topic, and on the right, they brainstorm characteristics. Then, on the bottom of the pyramid, they write other important details they encounter while reading or discussing the topic.
When your class members have completed the novel Esperanza Rising, they will be ready to write an expository essay on how Esperanza responds to events and what this says about her character. Set your pupils up for success by starting out with text-dependent questions about the chapter that will be the focus of their writing, in this case chapter five. Then, using the provided graphic organizer, lead them through planning and writing a paragraph that uses evidence effectively. For homework, have them do the same process on their own. A strong scaffolded writing lesson.
Begin class with a short comprehension quiz and review and then move into a new genre: two-voice poems. The lesson provides information about this type of poetry as well as a video example made by eighth graders that you can show your class. After watching and listening, class members can refer to the included transcript as they compose their own two-voice poems comparing and contrasting two characters from the novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan. Spend some time discussing text features and previous notes about the characters before sending pupils off with their graphic organizers to draft their poems with a partner or small group. Close by sharing golden lines from the poems.
What is life like for an Iroquois boy living in modern times? The book, Eagle Song, is the vehicle for learners to explore the development of the main character, Danny Bigtree. This is the final assessment for a larger unit in which learners were explicitly taught close reading skills and efficient writing strategies. The graphic organizer provided with the plan is a great tool to help organize students' thoughts. Note: This unit also supplements social studies curriculum for New York state teachers.
“Is Pluto a Planet?” Pairs of researchers use graphic organizers to record data found during their investigation into this ongoing controversy. Finally, class member use the collected information to write a paragraph in support of their position. Assessments, center ideas, and extension are included.
The first in a series of writing lessons included in a unit study of the Iroquois focuses on gathering information needed to craft a paragraph. Writers use the included four-square graphic organizer to record a topic sentence, details they plan to use, and a conclusion for their paragraph. Although designed specifically for this unit, the approach for crafting an informative/explanatory response can be used with any text. Also included in the packet are detailed directions for the plan, accommodations, and links to additional materials.
United Streaming Video’s A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog provides viewers an opportunity to write from the point of view of one of the characters in the tale. Half the class is assigned the role of the boy while the other half assumes the point of view of the frog. Participants take notes on the actions of their character while watching the un-narrated video and then write the story told from this point of view. The richly detailed plan includes a graphic organizer example, cross-curricular extensions, community connections, and rubrics.
Volcanoes are one of Earth's most destructive forces, but they also have positive effects. In an engaging lesson, young vulcanologists create an active model of a volcano, perform an experiment, read articles about the effects of eruptions, and complete a graphic organizer about cause and effect. As an extension, learners can also write a cause-and-effect paragraph. Additionally, resources are included for Spanish speaking learners. Some of the grammar in the readings is incorrect, but they are Word documents, so you can correct them if desired.
Constructing a paragraph from notes using close reading skills and visible thinking strategies is the focus of a great plan that is part of a larger unit. In earlier lessons, 4th graders deconstructed informational text and learned how to take notes on graphic organizers. Using those notes as a basis for a model paragraph, the teacher shows how to deconstruct writing with color coding. Focusing on underlining the main idea, specific details, and the conclusion on both the model paragraph and model graph organizer with different colored markers, the teacher works to illustrate the connections between the two. The informational text that the unit is based on, The Iroquois: A Six Nation Confederacy, is not provided, but the plan provides great strategies for writing that can be generalized for any informational text. Note: The link for the topic expansion graphic organizer referenced is in additional materials.
Lesson ten in this unit for the book Bullfrogs at Magnolia Circle, prepares third graders to begin writing an informational paragraph about the adaptations of bullfrogs. First, young writers work either independently or in pairs to gather their research from previous lessons into a graphic organizer. Then, using that research, they fill in an accordion-style graphic organizer with the the details and explanations they plan on using in their paragraph. Easily adaptable to expository writing on any topic, this is a great activity for teaching children how to plan and organize their writing.