Literacy PK-3

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Literacy PK-3 > Strategies > Graphic Organizer

Graphic Organizer


Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall. Graphic organizers outsource the memory demands of a task by mimicking the brain's mental schema, supporting students' cognitive development and, in turn, their reading and vocabulary skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how a teacher uses word maps to help her students better understand and remember new words. By supporting cognitive skills, such as Working Memory and Attention, word maps develop Vocabulary and Sight Recognition.

  • For learners with low Working Memory, graphic organizers hold onto the information for them. Readers can also recall this information more easily because they have repeatedly worked with it, recording it in the graphic organizer and reviewing it. This helps develop Verbal Reasoning skills, as readers can more easily connect information across a reading and with their own Background Knowledge.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how Popplet allows learners to create their own graphic organizers or collaborate to create a graphic organizer as a group. In addition to traditional text, learners have other choice options such as adding or changing drawings, photos, videos, colors, and fonts, which support engagement and increased Motivation.

  • Graphic organizers that can be manipulated—layout, shapes, colors, fonts—provide even more support for developing readers. These manipulatives activate more cognitive skills, from Attention to Visual Processing. The ability to personalize also drives Motivation and positive Emotions, both critical to wanting to learn.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy