Example of Graphic Organizers and Their Uses
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Graphic Organizer is a pedagogue tool used as a map or visual aid to make learning easy for students. The graphic organizer uses signs and symbols to represent ideas, especially when it has to do with teaching young learners complex concepts and is equally helpful for any learner. It is used to organize a set of information by showing the connections between various subject matters.
The graphic organizer can also be called knowledge or a cognitive map. The essence of using a graphic organizer in a teaching-learning process is to help learners visualize ideas that are being taught. It is equally a great way for learners to demonstrate their knowledge on a certain concept.
It equally helps in birthing their creativity. Though a necessary learning tool, graphic organizers can as well limit student learning abilities to just viewing concepts from the lenses of mere images, boxes and even circles.
Examples of Graphic Organizers
Since graphic organizers also represent a learner’s creativity, there is no one way to exhibit this. A graphic organizer can be presented in different forms. These forms are:
- Venn diagram
- Mind map
- Concept map
- Pie Charts and Flow charts
- Bubble map
- Hierarchical organizer
- Sequence chart
What is Graphic Organizer used for?
Graphic organizers can be used beyond the walls of a learning environment. It can be used for lab procedure presentations, creating instructions for games, constructing a food chain, planning a web quest, comparison activities, introducing a new concept, showing relationships, book design elements, illustrating the digestive system, illustrating an organization’s goals, to assess students learning, to present a difficult learning material, to teach math algorithms, these and a whole lot of other uses.
Depending on what an instructor intends to achieve in a lesson, any of the graphic organizers can be used. If an instructor wants his or her learners to compare and contrast the features of different animals or the writing style and techniques of two different authors, the Venn diagram is the best graphic organizer to use. If a set of learners need to show the process or life cycle of a butterfly or the food chain of an animal, the storyboard or outline is a good graphic organizer to utilize.
How to Use a Graphic Organizer
Just using any of these organizers without a goal to achieve, even if you have good knowledge about a subject matter, will not help learners achieve so much. To use a graphic organizer, one must understand the “what”. One must be able to tell what he or she wants the learners to have achieved at the end of a lesson.
Learning objectives must be rightly outlined. Whether students need to represent contrasts, make comparisons, criticize/examine concepts, show relationships or a flow. If an instructor outlines these, it will help learners assimilate a concept.
A second important “how” to use a graphic organizer is knowing and being able to tell “why” students have to either learn with the graphic organizers or to make one themselves. Learners must be able to tell why they are being asked to draw or scribble diagrams with inscriptions.
Giving them a why informs them of what is to be learned. It tells exactly what is expected of them. This is important because, most times, learners tend to believe that completing a graphic organizer is the lesson. An instructor should be able to completely erase this thought, give learners an idea of the task and ensure that a given structure connects with the lesson to be taught.
A most important “how-to” is allowing learners to draw out these concepts. This is a lot easier when an instructor has used this method to teach his or her learners over time. Since graphic organizers give room for creativity, an instructor may not restrict learners from using just one method of a graphic organizer. He should be able to tell learners his expectations and then ask them to be creative with their minds. This way, learners’ intellects, capacity and confidence are built.