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English Language Arts

Using Graphic Organizers to Increase Reading Comprehension

One of the key strategies that help students comprehend what they read is the use of graphic organizers. By learning why they are effective and exploring numerous types of graphic organizers that can be used, teachers are able to provide students with concrete tools to help them understand what they read.
A Collection By Mary Ann Steutermann
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Using Graphic Organizers to Increase Reading Comprehension
  • Mary Ann Steutermann says:
    This blog post provides a basic overview of graphic organizers and how they can be used to help students comprehend what they read. It also explains how they can be used with all learners, even those who struggle the most. Additionally, links to videos are provided that explain how to use these tools in general, and then more specifically how they help in classrooms where students' abilities differ greatly.
  • Mary Ann Steutermann says:
    This slide deck is a great resource for any teacher beginning to use graphic organizers. The material presented is grounded in research and provides before/during/after instructional tips when using graphic organizers with students. It also compares and contrasts graphic organizers with thinking maps. Although the author is an ESL teacher, the principles apply when teaching reading comprehension for students in their native language as well.
  • Mary Ann Steutermann says:
    This series of 5 videos provides explanations of different types of graphic organizers and includes actual footage of teachers using them in their classrooms. Video #4 in the series provides a very good overview of how graphic organizers can be an effective tool. Other videos in the series look at how specific types can be used, like KWL Charts, Four Square Retelling, and Venn Diagrams.
  • Mary Ann Steutermann says:
    This unit plan designed for students in grade 3-8 includes three complete lesson plans that call on students use different graphic organizers during the pre-reading, during reading, and after reading stages of an assignment. Specifically, the KWL, Clunks and Clues, and QAD graphic organizers are used, and links to numerous resources and theoretical background material are provided.
  • Mary Ann Steutermann says:
    Tired of hearing about the same few commonly-used graphic organizers? You don't have to stick with just those! This article provides reproducible copies of 40 different graphic organizers that students can use when reading independently. The target audience for them is younger students, but many can be applicable to older kids with minor adjustments. And they aren't just for fiction either. Organizers that work well with nonfiction and poetry are provided as well.
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BloomBoard Asks:What is a graphic organizer you have used that aided reading comprehension?