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ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
ERIC EC Minibib EB21
Updated March 2003
Compiled by Sandra Berger
Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in
microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations worldwide; to find the ERIC
Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm. Documents can also be
ordered for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com/, email@example.com, or 1-800-443-ERIC.
(no longer available)
Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a
fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library),
through interlibrary loan services, or from article reproduction services such as:
Infotrieve: 800.422.4633, www4.infotrieve.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; or ingenta: 800.296.2221, www.ingenta.com, email@example.com.
A graphic organizer is a visual representation
of concepts, knowledge, or
information that can incorporate both text and pictures. Examples
include calendars, maps, Venn
diagrams, and flow charts. Graphic organizers allow the mind
'to see' undiscovered patterns and
Adger, C. T. and others (1995). Engaging students: Thinking,
talking, cooperating. Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road,
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218. 192 pp.
In this book, four teachers provide classroom-tested, research-
based instructional approaches that engage students in learning
through thought and talk. They show ways to improve significantly
students abilities to solve problems and to think critically and
creatively by using "Think Trix," a structure of thinking types to
signal the sort of thinking that is appropriate to a learning task. The
system helps students develop both their analytic capabilities and
their academic language skills. Each chapter ends with discussion
questions to lead classes or individuals in exploring implications for
their own practice.
Armstrong, J. O. (1993). Learning to make idea maps with
elementary science text. Technical Report No. 572. Center for
the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL. 58 p. ED355491.
This report offers teachers and teacher educators information about
learning to make idea maps for instructional use with elementary
science texts. Idea maps, which are verbal-spatial representations
of ideas and the relationships connecting them, can resemble flow
charts, diagrams, or tables. The information in this report is based
on selected results from a study of eight preservice elementary
teachers who received several hours of individual instruction in idea
mapping and then independently read and mapped two passages
of elementary science text. The report presents the instructional
materials, describes the instructional sessions, and considers
selected data from the independent work sessions as indications of
the preservice teachers' learning from the instructional sessions.
The results show that all but one student followed the instructional
guideline to make "global maps," which were limited to key text
Bellanca, J. (1992). The cooperative think tank II: Graphic
organizers to teach thinking in the cooperative classroom.
K-Adult. Skylight Publishing, Inc., 200 East Wood Street, Suite
274, Palatine, IL 60067. 149 p.
This book contains 12 graphic organizers to use with a technique
called the "triple-agenda lesson," a single lesson or unit that
integrates the graphic organizers as a tool for promoting thoughtful
study of course content in a cooperative learning structure. The
goal of this technique is to empower each learner to become
self-directed regarding what and how to learn. Each chapter of the
book covers one graphic organizer and includes instructions on
how to use it in the classroom; a sidebar highlighting the purpose,
vocabulary, and thinking skills employed; suggestions for testing;
optional activities; topics for elementary, middle school, and
secondary levels; and examples. An invent-your-own model is
included, along with chapters on integrating organizers across the
curriculum and evaluating student work. Copies of the organizers
Bos, C. S., Anders, P. L. (1992). Using interactive teaching and
learning strategies to promote text comprehension and
content learning for students with learning disabilities.
International Journal of Disability, Development and
Education, 39(3), 225-38.
The Interactive Teaching Project was designed to test an
instructional model to help students with learning disabilities
comprehend content area concepts. This paper describes the
theoretical model and the effective interactive teaching and learning
strategies used, including semantic feature analysis, semantic
mapping, and semantic/syntactic feature analysis.
Cassidy, J. (1989). Using graphic organizers to develop critical
thinking. Gifted Child Today, 12(6), 34-36.
Graphic organizers can help gifted students organize information
and ideas related to a given topic. This article discusses the use of
such graphic organizers as structured overviews, Venn diagrams,
story maps, and character analysis charts to help teachers develop
analysis, synthesie, and evaluation as critical thinking skills.
Cassidy, J., Hossler, A. (1992). Help your students get the
main idea with graphic organizers. Learning, 21(2), 75-77,82.
Three graphic organizers are presented to teach students the
concept of main idea. One describes how to examine details in an
article to determine the main idea. Another explains how specific
details support main ideas. The third describes deduction, stressing
the importance of expository detail to support the main idea.
Dunston, P. J. (1992). A critique of graphic organizer research.
Reading Research and Instruction, 31 (2), 57-65.
Discusses research on the use of graphic organizers to facilitate
reading comprehension. Suggests that the research is inconclusive
in determining the type of organizer to be used, when organizers
should be introduced, and the type of students that benefit most
from organizers. Discusses directions for future investigations.
Dye, G. A. (2000). Graphic organizers to the rescue! helping
students link--and remember--information.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, 32(3), 72-76.
This article describes using graphic organizers as a way of
assisting students with disabilities in the note-taking
process and helping them link the new information to their
existing schema of knowledge. It discusses the concept
behind graphic organizers, graphic organizer activities, and
steps for creating a graphic organizer.
Ellis, E. S. (1994). Integrating writing strategy instruction with
content-area instruction: Part I--Orienting students to
organizational devices. Intervention in School and Clinic,
This article offers the Integrated Strategies Instruction Model as a
method for teaching content-area lessons to students with mild
disabilities, using a variety of graphic organizers. The model lends
itself to both teacher-directed and student-directed learning
Fleener, M. J., Marek, E. A. (1992) Testing in the learning
cycle. Science Scope, 15(6), 48-49.
Describes the three phases of the learning cycle (exploration,
conceptual invention, and expansion) and explains how they can be
used in educational assessment. The use of semantic mapping,
concept mapping, and mental modeling in the evaluation of student
learning is described.
Gammage, S., and others (1993). In the classroom. Reading
Teacher, 46(5), 446-52.
Describes five classroom activities: helping students use strong
nouns, strong verbs, and right adjectives; using acrostic poems for
research reporting; improving student response in directed-reading
(and directed-listening) thinking activities; using semantic mapping
and cooperative groups to build descriptive writing; and math
Griffin, C. C., Tulbert, B. L. (1995). The effect of graphic
organizers on students' comprehension and recall of
expository text: A review of the research and implications for
practice. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning
Difficulties, 11(1), 73-89.
Reviews the use of graphic organizers as a means to assist
students in the complex act of making sense of content-area text.
Explores theoretical and historical foundations of the graphic
organizer and reviews current research. Derives implications for the
classroom teacher and future research.
Hanselman, C. A. (1996). Using brainstorming webs in the
mathematics classroom. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle
School, 1(9), 766-70.
This article describes the use of a graphic organizer, webs, to help
students learn to connect concepts in mathematics.
Harris, J. B., Grandgenett, N. F. (1993). A developmental
sequence of children's semantic relationships: Implications for
the design of interactive hypermedia materials. Journal of
Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 2(1), 83-101.
A study of students in grades two through eight was conducted to
determine the potential existence of a developmental sequence of
specific association types among children and the implications for
the design of interactive hypermedia materials. Highlights include
schema theory; word associations; and semantic mapping and
Howard, J. B.(1994). Addressing needs through strengths: Five
instructional practices for use with gifted/learning disabled
students. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 5(3), 23-34.
This article describes five instructional strategies for use with gifted
students with learning disabilities: (1) use of computer technology;
(2) mnemonic (memory enhancing) techniques; (3) graphic
organizers; (4) the integrative strategy instruction model; and (5)
Hyerle, D. (1996). Thinking maps: Seeing is understanding.
Educational Leadership, 53(4), 85-89.
By using visual tools corresponding to thinking processes, students
can organize their ideas on paper or by computer and improve
their reading, writing, and thinking skills. After the brainstorming
process, eight types of thinking maps (circle, bubble,
double-bubble, tree, flow, multiflow, brace, and bridge maps) are
useful graphic organizers.
Irvin, J. L. (1990). Vocabulary knowledge: Guidelines for
instruction. What research says to the teacher. National
Education Association, Washington, D.C. NEA Professional
Library, P.O. Box 509, West Haven, CT 06516 (Stock No.
1085-X-00, $3.95). 35 p.
Arguing that researchers in the last decade have helped to
illuminate a direction for effective vocabulary development for
students, this monograph reviews the recent research on
vocabulary knowledge. After a discussion of the importance of
vocabulary knowledge, the monograph examines the various
factors in vocabulary acquisition identified by researchers in the
1980s. The monograph also includes a discussion of the issues
related to vocabulary instruction and presents four guidelines for
instruction. Finally, the monograph describes researched and
field-tested learning strategies (List-Group-Label-Write, Semantic
Feature Analysis, Graphic Organizers, and Semantic Mapping)
designed to facilitate meaningful vocabulary learning. A 173-item
bibliography is attached.
Lazear, D. (1991). Seven ways of teaching: The artistry of
teaching with multiple intelligences. IRI/Skylight Publishing,
Inc., 200 East Wood Street, Suite 274, Palatine, IL 60067. 187p.
This guide provides a rationale and approach for translating
Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences into classroom
practice. The introduction explains Gardner's theory, gives the
definitions of the seven intelligences he identifies-verbal/linguistic,
logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic,
musical/rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal-and defines specific
capacities that are related to these intelligences. The seven
chapters present model lessons that emphasize one of the
intelligences as the primary mode of knowing and learning.
Rice, G. E. (1994). Need for explanations in graphic organizer
research. Reading Psychology, 15(1), 39-67.
Reviews research relating to graphic organizers. Suggests that no
systematic approach to analyzing graphic organizer research
exists, resulting in a lack of explanations for why graphic organizers
work or do not work. Proposes a framework through which graphic
organizer research may be better understood in relation to the
cognitive processes of the reader.
Rose, D. H. & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in
the digital age: Universal design for learning. VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,
800-933-2723 (Toll Free); http://www.ascd.org.
This guide to universal design in the classroom is divided
into two sections. The first addresses the concept of
universal design for learning (UDL); the second addresses
the practical application of UDL in the classroom. Each
chapter opens with a summary of key ideas and a graphic
organizer that illustrates how the concepts fit together.
Salyer, B. K., Curran, C., Thyfault, A. (2002). What can I use
tomorrow? Strategies for accessible math and science
curriculum for diverse learners in rural schools. In: No
Child Left Behind: The Vital Role of Rural Schools. Annual
National Conference Proceedings of the American Council
on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (22nd, Reno, NV, March
Increased requirements for inclusion have created a
growing demand for special educators to have content
expertise in areas such as math and science. One
recommended practice involves integrating the "big ideas"
that are the foundation for understanding mathematics and
science across the curriculum. Many students, including
those with disabilities, will benefit from study guides and
outlines, graphic organizers, an introduction to key terms,
audiotapes, and other assistive technology devices.
Scanlon, D. J., and others. (1992). Interactive semantic
mapping: An interactive approach to enhancing LD students'
content area comprehension. Learning Disabilities Research
and Practice, 7(3) 142-46.
Interactive Semantic Mapping is presented as an interactive
instructional strategy developed from multiple theoretical bases to
aid reading comprehension in students with learning disabilities. It
involves students in predicting relationships among concepts and
sharing knowledge to facilitate comprehension of text-related
concepts. This article describes the strategy's theoretical rationale,
implementation procedures, and effectiveness.
Sinatra, R., and others. (1994). Using a computer-based
semantic mapping, reading, and writing approach with at-risk
fourth graders. Journal of Computing in Childhood Education,
This article investigated the efficacy of a computer program
approach to help 260 at-risk fourth graders model, practice, and
internalize narrative writing skills. It was found that the at-risk
students responded positively to the use of technology incorporated
with instructional strategies for developing higher order thinking and
literacy skills. The teachers also indicated positive attitudes toward
the use of computers.
Stahl, S. A. , Kapinus, B. A. (1991). Possible sentences:
Predicting word meanings to teach content area vocabulary.
Reading Teacher, 45 (1), 36-43.
This article shares the results of two studies on the Possible
Sentences strategy, which indicate that the strategy can be as
effective, if not more so, than semantic mapping in teaching
vocabulary and fostering recall information.
Stone, R. (2002). Best practices for high school classrooms:
What award-winning secondary teachers do. CA: Corwin
Press, Inc., (paperback: ISBN-0-7619-7730-9; hardbound:
ISBN-0-7619-7729-5). 800-818-7243 (Toll Free);
This book provides guidance on high-impact teaching
practices, offering first-hand accounts of award-winning
teachers. Nine chapters include: "Succeeding with Reading
and Writing Instruction," with topics: "Graphic Organizers
and Their Enhancement of Reading Comprehension at the
Williams, C. R. (1994). Semantic map planning: A framework
for effective, reflective teaching, teacher development, and
teacher research. Master of Arts Thesis, School for
International Training, Brattleboro, VT. 184 p. ED377677.
A discussion of lesson planning for classroom instruction, a teacher
draws on personal experience in teacher education and other life
experiences. Examples that accompany the discussion apply to
second language teaching. The first chapter offers background
information on his early training in planning in the fields of both
education and construction, and examines the factors influencing
his thinking during that period. The second chapter focuses on a
period of graduate training in reflective teaching. Chapters three
and four chronicle the creation of a new framework for lesson
planning based on the notion of semantic mapping. The resulting
approach is to create a physical format for recording the teacher's
thinking on lesson elements, including objectives, instructional
materials, targeted skills, content, focus, evaluation, and classroom
environment. Chapter five describes experimentation with the
semantic map lesson planning technique by 20 teachers at a
teacher education conference. The concluding chapter discusses
the usefulness of the approach for effective, reflective teaching,
and for teacher research and professional development. A brief
bibliography is also included.
Bellanca, J. A. The cooperative think tank II : Graphic organizers
to teach thinking in the cooperative classroom. Skylight, Palatine,
Davidson, N., Worsham, T. Enhancing thinking through cooperative learning. Teachers College Press, New York. 1992
Doherty, J., Graham, E., Malek, M. (Eds.) Postmodernism and the
social sciences. St. Martin's Press, NY. 1992
Goldin, S. E., Thorndyke, P. W. An analysis of cognitive mapping
skill. Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA. 1981
Heimlich, J. E., Pittleman, S. D. Semantic mapping: classroom applications. International Reading Association, Newark, DE. 1986
Jacobson, J.T. (Ed.) Principles and applications in auditory evoked
potentials. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. 1994
Jones, M., Brooks, L. Addressing organisational context in requirements analysis using cognitive mapping. Judge Institute of Management Studies, Cambridge, MA. 1994
Langfield-Smith, K. Mapping cognitive structures : A pilot study to
develop a research method. Kim Langfield-Smith, Geoffrey Lewis
Parkville, Victoria, Australia University of Melbourne, Graduate
School of Management. 1989
Thorndyke, P. W. , Goldin, S. E. Ability differences and cognitive
mapping skill; prepared for the United States Army. Rand
Corporation, Santa Monica, CA. 1981
Toms-Bronowski, S. An investigation of the effectiveness of semantic mapping and semantic feature analysis with intermediate grade level children. Wisconsin Center for Education Research,
The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. 1982.
Electronic Graphic Organizers
Graphic Organizer Index
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL)
Graphic Organizer Makers
Note. There are many Internet resources on graphic organizers. To
conduct a search, use one of the Internet search engines such as
Google and type "graphic organizers" as your
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