Resources: Graphic Organizers

Frayer Model—A vocabulary development tool. This model helps students develop a more complex understanding of a concept by having them define not just what it is, but what it is not. The center of the diagram shows the concept being defined, and the quadrants around the concept provide definitions, examples, and context.

Here’s a completed example: Frayer Model example

And here’s a blank template: Frayer Model

Venn DiagramA compare and contrast tool. Venn Diagrams are commonly used to compare story elements in English class; however, they can easily be used in other content area classes. For example, a Venn Diagram could be used in math class to compare two formulas or equations, in history to compare World War I with World War II, or science to compare the way fish and amphibians reproduce. Differences are listed in the outer portions, and similarities are listed where the two circles overlap.

Here’s a blank template: Venn Diagram

Story Grammar ChartA literary analysis tool. A story grammar chart is mainly used by students in a literature class to help them visually dissect a story and outline the themes, setting, conflict, climax, resolution, and other elements of plot.

Here’s a blank template: Story Grammar Chart

KWLAn anticipatory activity. A KWL chart is used before, during, and after a lesson or unit. It helps students track what they know (K), what they want to know (W), and what they learned (L).

Here’s a blank template: KWL

SQ3RA reading comprehension activity. This model is a tangible way to record what good readers already to in their minds as they read. This chart can be used in any subject, with a textbook chapter, article, or any other supplementary text. It requires the student to survey the document first, looking specifically for titles and subtitles. Then the student writes down any questions about the text before reading. As they read, they record answers for the questions they had prior to reading. Finally, they review the article and/or what they’ve written, emphasizing key points to aid retention.

Here’s a blank template: SQ3R

Cornell Notes—A note-taking strategy. Providing your students with this note-taking strategy may be the key to helping them understand and retain information learned during your lessons. In this format, notes from the lecture are written in a large column on the right side of the page, and questions or keywords are written in a smaller column on the left side of the page. Five to seven lines are left blank at the bottom of the page for the student to use after class as he/she reviews the notes and summarizes what he/she learned.

Here’s a blank template: Cornell Notes

Matrix NotesA note-taking strategy. This strategy allows students to visualize complex thinking across different subjects or ideas, comparing many categories or characteristics all on the same page.

Here’s a semi-completed example: Matrix Notes

RAFT PromptA writing strategy. This prompt can be used across content areas. This strategy helps students better understand their role as a writer (which can change with writing assignments in different subject areas). RAFT also helps students focus on the audience they will address, the various formats for writing, and the topic they’ll be writing about.

Here’s a blank template: RAFT Writing Prompt

POWA writing planning strategy. This strategy can be used with students before a writing activity. “P” stands for “pick a topic,” “O” stands for “organize my notes,” and “W” stands for “write and say more.”

Here’s a blank template: POW

WWW, What=2, How =2A creative writing strategy. This strategy is great to pair with “POW.” This will help students organize their thoughts and jot down notes before beginning to write a fictional piece. “WWW” stands for “Who is the main character?” “When does the story take place?” and “Where does the story take place?” “What=2” stands for “What does the main character do or want to do?” and “What happens then? What happens with the other characters?” Finally, “How=2” stands for “How does the story end? How does the main character feel? How do the other characters feel?”