Duke and Pearson's research review of reading comprehension strategies is a foundational article I turned to over and over again when planning reading instruction. This article not only describes proven strategies and routines, but also provides detailed explanations and examples of how and when each strategy should be used. In particular, the section on Visual Representation of the Text presents an excellent model of how graphic organizers support reading comprehension.
This collection of lesson plans by teAchnology give concrete and explicit examples of how to plan and execute reading comprehension lessons that incorporate the use of graphic organizers. Although oriented to Florida State Standards, the sample plans are detailed, sequential, and include links to the resources referenced in the lesson plan.
Thinkport.org provides a number of free graphic organizers that can be printed in PDF, Word or HTML format. They include a brief description of how the organizer can assist the student and what it is good for depicting. Most of the thinking maps can be used "as-is" to support reading comprehension, and the variety of formats makes modification easy, as well. I think this is an excellent resource for educators starting or expanding their graphic organizer library.
This research article by Manoli and Papadopoullou gives a comprehensive overview of graphic organizers and explores the evidence base for their use in scaffolding reading comprehension. Specifically, Manoli and Papadopoullou review the origin of graphic organizers; the various types of organizers; ways to use graphic organizers; and the research addressing their effectiveness. This article is a must-read for anyone that wants a more in-depth understanding of graphic organizers.
Anina Robb has compiled a treasure trove of graphic organizers that can be used to support reading comprehension in a variety genres. I love that she not only includes printable copies of the graphic organizers, but she also explains how each can be used at different stages of the reading process (i.e., before reading, during reading and after reading).
This video from the Doing What Works Library provides an excellent anecdotal example of how to use graphic organizers to support non-fiction reading comprehension. The step-by-step video includes elements of teacher planning (including selection and editing of an appropriate graphic organizer for the text); a demonstration of how a specific graphic organizer was introduced to an elementary reading class as a learning resource; as well as how a graphic organizer may be used as an assessment tool.
Inspiration Software, Inc. present an easy-to-read article describing what graphic organizers are, the different types of graphic organizers, how they aid learning and how to use and teach with them. This article is perfect for the teacher who is unfamiliar with graphic organizers in general.
Janet Harton presents an entertaining animated overview of graphic organizers. This video is a great start for the teacher that is not familiar with what graphic organizers are or how they can be used. Harton explains how graphic organizers facilitate learning, which learners might benefit best from their use, as well as how to use incorporate graphic organizers into assessment.