One of the most important steps in the writing process is the organizing or prewriting step, yet it can be problematic for some students. When you consider the importance of non-linguistic representation, the use of graphic organizers (GO) can be key to helping students produce good writing.
One of the most important steps in the writing process is the organizing or prewriting step, yet it can be problematic for some students. When you consider the importance of nonlinguistic representation as noted by Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock (2001), the use of graphic organizers (GO) can be key to helping students produce good writing. It is not just the visual mapping that takes place when graphically organizing thoughts for writing, but also the actual thinking processes that can benefit all students. Consider the added benefit of improving the students’ self-concept when they experience success with writing, and the use of graphic organizers show even more validity (Ellis & Howard, 2007).
Following are a few writing lessons using graphic organizers:
- Delicious, Tasty, Yummy: Enriching Writing with Adjectives and Synonyms Enjoy this lesson plan that utilizes a free, (broken link)(broken link)
- A New York City Bird Field Guide CD
Adapt this lesson plan for observing and writ ing about birds to those found in your area of Virginia. Utilize Microsoft PowerPoint to create a concept mapping template and for students to create slides; downloadable curriculum unit available. (broken link)(broken link)
• Makes Sense Strategies Smart Sheets— Research- based interactive graphic organizers for thinking, reading and writing about literature. (broken link) http://www.graphicorganizers.com
• Draftbuilder software by Don Johnston, Inc. has over 30 organizing templates that offer support with audio buttons and spell checker. Available in the lending library at T-TAC@ODU. https://ttac.biblionix.com/atoz/catalog/
Ellis, E. S. & Howard, P. W. (2007). Graphic organizers: Power tools for teaching students with learning disabilities.
Council for Exceptional Children, the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) and the Division for Research (DR). Retrieved from http://dldcec.org/pdf/alert13.pdf
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.