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20110817 learning files graphic organiser


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20110817 learning files graphic organiser

  1. 1. A U G U S T 2 0 1 1the learning files GRAPHIC ORGANISERS4 A graphic organiser is a visual representation of knowledge that structures information by arranging important aspects of a concept or topic into a pat- • Represent abstract ideas in more concrete forms, • Depict the relationships among facts and con- tern using labels. They combine the linguistic mode cepts, • Organize ideas, and (using words, phrases) and the non-linguistic mode • Store and recall information (arrows, lines, symbols). They are effective tools for thinking and learning as they help students to:The learning files arean initiative of the Na-tional CPD Task Team.They are written byand for the Colleges ofEducation and dealwith topics that con-cern education in gen-eral and education incolleges more specifi-cally. The files give amixture of literature,good practices, self-testing and tips andtricks to tackle a cer-tain problem. In thiscase:Graphic How do graphic organisers help ourorganisers students?Do you feel like con-tributing ideas or top- Graphic organisers engage students’ visual intelli- the graphic organiser allows the students to con-ics, please do not hesi- gence, stretch their thinking skills and promote active firm or rethink prior knowledge and to relate thetate to contact us: learning. new concepts to the Graphic organisers can be used before a lesson to activate prior knowledge, guide thinking, and to de- velop vocabulary. During a lesson, the graphic or- “A picture is worth a thousand words” ganiser can help students organize information and stay focused on the content material. After a lesson, Chinese proverb
  2. 2. Story After the Lead and Learn Zambia seminar I have started with my personal goal on GraphicMrs. Bwalya is a lecturer in Educational Studies at Mimosa Organisers. I wanted to use comparison matri-College of Education. ces and Venn diagrams with my Chemistry class to summarise and assess lessons. I haveLast week she asked her students to read an article on just completed a topic the periodic table, sub-learning theories as preparation for her lesson. topic periodic law and have used the compari-Today they are going to work with those preparations. Once son matrix to summarise how chemical andall students are seated, she asks them to form 3 groups. physical characteristics recur periodically withEach group will present their learnings from the article via increasing atomic number (Z). My first year students were happy to bedrawing a mind map. One group will map the cognitivist exposed to this instructional strategy. I got feedback from students bymodel, another group the behaviourist model and yet anoth- using the entrance and the exit slips. I have, therefore, encouraged myer group the constructivist model. All students start their students to use graphic organizers more often even in biology and phys-work. Mrs. Bwalya walks from group to group and observes ics to summarize topics. I hope to use more instructional strategies nextwhat’s happening. She answers some questions of students term with third year students as they will be back from School Teachingand notes down some issues she later wants to discuss with Practice.the students. Once all groups are ready, the students stick (John Tebeka, lecturer Mufulira College of Education)their mind maps on the wall. Mrs. Bwalya invites all studentsto look carefully at the other mind maps and, where possibleand needed, add information. She then leads a class discus- “Students were hap-sion where the 3 learning theories are discussed in detail,based on the mind maps made by the students. Where nec- py to be exposed toessary she gives some extra information and explanation. such strategy”To assess how well all is understood and to take the stu-dents to a higher thinking level, she gives them a sheet witha 4 column table. She asks students to compare the 3 learn- During the Lead and Learn Zambia Seminaring theories based on criteria such as role of the teacher, (LLZ) in May – June 2011, I made a personallearner, learning activities, … plan which I implemented immediately. I used the Frayer Model in my Language lessons Cognitivist Behaviourist Constructivist with first year students. The topic was about the language use and needs in Zambia, in which students were asked to explain how theRole of teacher English language is a formidable medium of communication at all levels in Zambia, and to bring out the role of indigenous lan-Role of student guages.Learning activities I encouraged the students to use this strategy to improve their study skills in other components and subjects. The students were... happy with this strategy as it was seen from the feedback I re- ceived from them through the parking lot. Figure 1: Example of a Compare chart (Clare Mwiinga, NISTCOL)Why use graphic organisers?Mrs. Bwalya from Mimosa College of Education has been experi- how information is related. This helps them to better understandmenting with the use of organisers. Here is why she feels everyone my lessons. The visual representation makes it also easier for themshould use them: to remember information; they were not just listening and writing but also seeing and drawing in my class. I have seen that this approach“I believe my students have reached higher levels of thinking be- caters better for all intelligences: verbal, visual, logical, etc. Be-cause of the use of the graphic organisers. They developed concept cause the information is represented visually rather than verballymaps and compared and contrasted concepts. Because the organis- also limited English proficient students grasp the concepts.”ers force them to look for content connections, they can better see PAGE 2
  3. 3. Variety of graphic organisersThere are different types of graphic organisers. Different authors identify different types and give them different names. Here are some of themost common named types. For each type we have given some examples and ideas, but there are many more.Compare/contrast Compare/contrast organisers depict similarities or contrasts among key conceptsorganisers Figure 3: T chartFigure 2: Venn diagram Figure 4: Compare/contrast chart Sequence organisers Illustrate a series of steps or place events in a chronological or- der, or in cyclic process Figure 5: Timeline Figure 7: Cyclic graph Figure 6: Chain Figure 8: Upward arrowPAGE 3
  4. 4. Conceptual organisers Include a main concept with supporting facts, evidence, or characteristics (mind maps, concept maps, word webs) Figure 10: Frayer Model Figure 9: Mind map Figure 11: Concept mapCategorise/classify Arrange information in categories or classifications. Theseorganisers can be hierarchical.Figure 12: Tree Figure 13: Matrix Figure 14: Pyramid (hierarchy)Evaluation organisers Used for evaluating purposes such as agree/disagree, agree- ment scales, etc.  Strongly            Strongly  agree  1  2  3  4  5  disagree  Figure 15: Evaluation chart Figure 16: Agreement scale PAGE 4
  5. 5. Relational organisers Illustrate the relation, such as cause and effect, between a series of events or concept.  Figure 17: Fish bone Figure 18: Pie Figure 19: Embedded conceptsHow do you decide on what typeof graphic organiser to use?The content and organisation of science lecturer was doing. He chose the “fishbone” graphic organiser (showsmaterial usually determines the type of cause and effect) because it looked likeorganiser to be created. Another factor science. It became his favourite andis the cognitive or learning style everything they discussed somehow fitof the person creating the organiser. into the “fishbone” which of course wasOften individuals have a preference for not type of graphic organiser. For ex-ample, holistic, creative thinkers often Beware of overuse and al-like the nonlinear and open-ended ways test it out on someone beforequality of the conceptual organiser. you use it with your students, via reflec-The more sequential thinker might tion or asking a colleague for feedback.prefer the hierarchical structure of the If you are unable to get your point acrosshierarchical organiser and chronologi- in the “testing” stage, you can concludecal structure of the sequential organis- that you chose the wrong graphic organ-er. Most importantly, however, is hav- iser. For the first few times, always starting experiences with a variety of organ- simple. Get your students accustomed toisers to allow you and your students to the fact that visualising a concept is ben- ap-pick and choose the type most eficial for both the lecturer and the stu-propriate for the subject dent. You will know that they know when they can verbalise what they have visu-and purpose. Figure 20: Example of a graphic organiser to help in alised.Beware of doing what the following planningPAGE 5
  6. 6. Getting started1.  Analyse the information to be taught and highlight key words and phrases. Key concepts will provide the categories How do you construct under the big idea, while key word/phrases provide the ele- ments that are the most important for students to understand.  your own graphic or-2.  Identify the relationship among concepts and facts. The relationship will help you decide on the format of your graphic ganiser? designer. 3.  Arrange information into a logical order.  b.  If posting information ... it must be clear, with key words4.  Prepare the graphic organiser. First put all the information and relationships identified. Colour can be used to capture in the organiser. Then, depending on how you are going interest and cue the student to key components.  to use it, prepare also a blank or half blank one. Think about c.  If using as a learning or note-taking guide ... provide spac- the purpose of the organiser (Is it for presenting information es with enough room to write all key information.  without much instruction, as a learning guide for students, or a 5.  Add pictures, icons, etc. to "grab" students attention/interest guide for taking notes?).  and make vague concepts more obvious.  a.  If using as a presentation technique ... it must not be too 6. Remember to think about student abilities so that the form and cluttered, and it must be big enough for all to see (at least complexity of the graphic organiser facilitates understanding 24 pt font). Empty spaces that are filled in as the presen- rather than causing confusion. tation occurs (i.e., scaffolding) can encourage active par- ticipation by students.  Free materials and templatesEducation Place Teach-nology( ( site allows you to download, print, and make copies of over 40 Make your own graphic organisers on this site by filling out a simpledifferent graphic organisers for use in your classroom. form. The materials are made instantly and can be printed directly from your computer.The Graphic Organiser Enchanted learning( site contains resources you might find useful for writing and graphic organisers. Especially helpful are the links to articles Lots of information and printable versions of graphic organisers.and books on the web. There is an interesting tool to decide which graphic organiser suits best your topic.Get inspired by others.Browse and find moregreat ideas. PAGE 6
  7. 7. Do the test How good are you in using graphic organisers? yes no I prepare graphic organisers as part of my lesson preparation. I make sure I use a variety of graphic organisers. I carefully select the organiser based on lesson outcomes, lesson content and learning styles. I test (reflect, ask feedback) the graphic organiser before using it in my class. I actively engage all students in verbalizing the graphic organizer. I create opportunities for students to fill in pre-set organisers as a way of taking notes. I design activities for students to create their own organisers. I adjust my graphic organisers after a lesson, based on feedback of students. I assess whether all students can verbalise the visualised content.. How to use this learning file in CPD?Steps to follow (as a department or section or a group of people who would like to improve the use of graphic organisers in the classroom)1. Discuss the learning file (e.g. during CPD time). See if there is a shared understanding. Feel free to add on more information that might for example be specific for your subject.2. Reflect on your current practice. Compile a list of graphical organisers used during recent lessons. a. Do you use graphic organisers? b. How many types do you use? (see the learning file) • Are the organisers you use linked to desired lesson outcomes? • How far are students actively involved in choosing graphic organisers? b. Try to come up with some graphic organisers that can add value to your lesson. Discuss in pairs and in the group.3. Lesson study approach a. In groups (or as a section), plan a demonstration lesson in which appropriate graphic organisers will be used. b. Somebody volunteers to teach the lesson; other observe and one person records the lesson on video. People observing could in advance agree to focus on the use of the graphic organisers (relevance for the lesson topic, good choice of type of organiser, introduction of the organizer, interaction with students in doing the organizer,...) c. Exchange notes and views about the use of the graphic organisers in the observed lesson in pairs and then as a whole group (the video could be played again to aid the discussion) d. Agree on lessons learned and next steps4. Alternatively, personal action plan approach, This is a short term commitment to implementation by all members of the group. a. They answer a simple question: what am I going to put into action during the coming week? e.g. ”I will prepare at least 1 suitable graphic organiser for each lesson I will teach in the coming week, based on lessons learned from this learning file” b. Try out and individual reflection (did I do what I promised to do? How did it go?) c. Group meeting: exchange of experiences, challenges, finding solutions. d. Agree on lessons learned and next steps5. Invite each other to observe each other’s lesson and coach each other6. Discuss the experiences during a whole staff CPD meetingPAGE 7
  8. 8. Reflections What did you take with you from this learning file in terms of knowledge, insights, skills, attitudes? How will you use what you’ve What questions do you still learned? have? Literature Gregg, L., O’Connel, M.J. (2011). Instructional strategies .(retrieved on 2 Aug 2011) Presentation at the Lead and Learn Zambia Seminar, Lusaka, May-June 2011. (retrieved on 2 Aug 2011) Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., Pollock, J.E. (2001). Class- room instruction that works. Research based strategies for (retrieved on 2 increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.Aug 2011) Peery, A. (2009). Power strategies for effective teaching. Eng- lewood: The Leadership and learning Center.organizers.html (retrieved on 8 Aug 2011) s.n. (2001). Smart card: graphic organizers. San Clemente: Kagan Pubishing.Bromley, et al., (1998). In on 2 Aug 2011) the learning filesResearch: Lieve Leroy General editing, photographs and graphical Contact: Lieve Leroy, Clare Mwiinga, John Te- design: Lieve Leroybeka, Publishing: VVOB-MOE Teacher training supportCritical readers: Hans Casier, Patrick Kayawe, programmeLeonie Meijerink, John Tebeka