GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS

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Graphic Organizers In General

Sequential Graphic Organizers

Single Main Concept Graphic Organizers

Multiple Concept Graphic Organizers

Figures

Timeline

Flowchart

Cyclical Graphic Organizer

Hierarchy

Continuum

Simple Argumentation Structure

Complex Argumentation Structure

Spider Map

Venn Diagram

Matrix

 

Graphic Organizers In General

A graphic organizer is a diagram or illustration of a written or oral statement.Examples include matrices, hierarchies, and continua. The goal in using graphic organizers is to organize ideas and examine relationships. In doing so, people engage more of their core thinking skills and process information more intensely, improving long term recall. Graphic organizers are especially helpful to average, under-achieving, and struggling learners. The process of reviewing information and organizing it appears to help learners arrange the material in their minds. Although there are many different graphic organizers, they can be grouped into three main types.

Graphic organizers may be grouped or classified as representing sequential information, a single main concept, or multiple concepts. Different types within each classification can be used to represent simple or more complex information. Figure 1 is a matrix graphic organizer depicting classes and types of graphic organizers.

CLASS TYPE

Simple -------------------------------------------------------->More Complex

Sequential Timeline.............................Flowchart..........Cyclical.........................Hierarchy...........
Single Main Concept Continua...............................Argumentation Structure......................Spider Map....
Multiple Concepts ......................Venn Diagram ................................................ Matrix.........................

FIGURE 1

Classes and Types of Graphic Organizers

 

Sequential Graphic Organizers

Sequential graphic organizers represent serial information. Timelines represent information that proceeds in temporal order. Flowcharts represent information that is also serial, but there are discrete steps, or steps that must be completed in order. When all the steps in a flowchart are dependent on the previous one, and when the last step is connected to the first step, then a cyclical organizer is best.

A hierarchy is also like a flowchart, except each subordinate step may have more than one branch. Figures 2, 3, 4, and 5 depict a timeline, flowchart, cyclical, and hierarchical graphic organizer.

 

1900                                1925                           1950                             1975                     2000

FIGURE 2

A Timeline

 

 

Click Here to See Figure 3 A Flowchart

 

 

 
 

FIGURE 4

A Cyclical Graphic Organizer

 

Click Here to See FIGURE 5 A Hierarchy

 

 

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Single Main Concept Graphic Organizers

A second class of graphic organizers effectively illustrates materials having a single main concept. Information related to the main concept is included on either side of, or around the idea. Examples consist of continua, argumentation structures, and spider maps.

A continuum looks similar to a timeline, however it is not serial. Instead, continua represent the range of possibilities represented by a concept. They are well suited for material that contains many gradations between two extremes. Figure 6 represents a sample continuum.

       
		Extreme                                                         Opposite Extreme

FIGURE 6

A Continuum

 

Argumentation structures (Figure 7-1 & 7-2) can range from simple to complex. They represent the logical evaluation of an argument, presenting support for drawing a particular conclusion. Simple structures represent premises (facts) that lead to a conclusion (a deduction, inference, or judgment). More complex structures contain sequences of reasoning, with explanations.

Premises

1.________________________________________________________________

2.________________________________________________________________

3.________________________________________________________________

CONCLUSION

__________________________________________________________________

FIGURE 7-1

Simple Argumentation Structure

 

Premises - Reasoning Chain

1. _____________________________

2. _____________________________

3. _____________________________

Premises - Reasoning Chain

1. _____________________________

2. _____________________________

3. _____________________________

Conclusion

_____________________________________________________________________

Explanations

1. _____________________________

2. _____________________________

3. _____________________________

Explanations

1. _____________________________

2. _____________________________

3. _____________________________

FIGURE 7-2

Complex Argumentation Structure

 

Spider maps, and the similar fishbone maps, are well suited to diagramming a central concept surrounded by related information. This may consist of an object and its attributes, or a primary concept with arms and legs for each major supporting idea. A branch from each leg for details of each idea may be included. Another example consists of a central proposition with supporting material, quotes, data, and examples, each on their own leg. Figure 8 represents a typical spider map.

 

 
 

FIGURE 8

A Spider Map

 

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Multiple Concept Graphic Organizers

A third group of graphic organizers can be used to represent material with more than one concept. These can be more complex organizers, for use with involved or elaborate information. Representative types with this class include Venn diagrams, and matrices.

Venn diagrams, familiar constructs for portraying set theory in mathematics, can be applied to other disciplines as well. They can be used in the same way as in mathematics - for demonstrating the ways in which two or more sets of data coincide. They effectively depict the similarities and differences between groups. Figure 9 represents a simple, two group Venn diagram.

 

 
 

FIGURE 9

A Venn Diagram

 

The graphic organizer able to demonstrate perhaps the widest range of complexity is the matrix. Matrices are constructs of rows and columns. They can span a range from simple, one column 1xn matrices to unlimited nxn matrices. They can be used to compare and contrast two items, or they can be used to list objects cross-referenced with the attributes of each object. Figure 10 represents a 3x4 matrix.

                             
                                
                                
     
     
     

FIGURE 10

A Matrix Graphic Organizer

 

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                                                           1993 Michael Drafke