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Graphic Organizers: Kinda Fun—and Super Effective!

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

Graphic organization of information comes naturally to people. It even predates writing. Ancient peoples used a variety of ingenious graphic methods to organize, record, and transmit information for centuries before some of these methods developed into writing. This fact alone seems to indicate that the human mind is well-suited to organizing and interpreting information presented graphically.



Modern psychological and educational research has proved the effectiveness of different visual devices—especially graphic organizers— as powerful communication and learning tools. Indeed, dozens of studies have established that graphic organizers provide students and teachers with numerous benefits.


Benefits for Students

Recent scientific studies have only confirmed what teachers working in the trenches have known for some time: graphic organizers help students. You can ask any teacher with experience using graphic organizers, and he or she will likely identify at least one, and probably several, benefits of graphic organizers for students:


Benefits for Teachers

Teachers who use graphic organizers benefit as much as the students. The overriding advantage is that you will elicit better performance from your students. In addition, the following benefits have also been reported:


Research

Decades of research have consistently demonstrated the value of graphic organizers to both teachers and students. Indeed, few other classroom tools have been so widely and highly praised by education researchers, and so uniformly declared a “best practice.”

Education professor Gloria A. Dye summarized the benefits of graphic organizers:


"By using graphic organizers, teachers can have a clear understanding of what they want to address in their classes. Graphic organizers provide students with a road map to follow as they expand their schemas by linking them to existing knowledge. When looking at a graphic organizer ... parents can have a clearer view of what their children will learn or what they have learned in a content-area class. By serving as a means of helping students link the new information with their existing knowledge base, graphic organizers can contribute to our ultimate goal—student learning."




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